Scotland hooker Stuart McInally admits he is relishing the challenge of facing Andy Farrell's impressive Ireland when the two sides meet in Dublin in Round 5 of the 2022 Guinness Six Nations.
Gregor Townsend's Scotland squad will travel to the Aviva Stadium on 19 March with revenge on the agenda on Super Saturday after Ireland prevailed 27-24 when the two met at BT Murrayfield last year.
Ireland suffered a narrow 30-24 loss to France in Round 2 but have picked up victories over Wales and Italy - Scotland's next opponents, and McInally knows just how well their final opposition have been playing ahead of their crunch clash against England at Twickenham in Round 4.
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"They're playing great rugby. Just how physical they're being at the breakdown and how direct they're being with some of their forward runners. It's causing teams huge problems," he said.
"You also look at the way they managed to cause France some problems with nice bits of play, with [Tadhg] Furlong putting these plays out the back, causing them problems.
"They have the ability to be direct but also they seem to have a brilliant way of finding space wide as well. They've got some dangerous wingers who are on great form.
"I've been really impressed with Ireland. That's going to be a huge challenge for us but we relish that, we want to go over there and finish the tournament on a high.
"Although we can't win the tournament now, we can still win these last two games and that's what we're focusing on."
Scotland travel to Rome this weekend with the Cuttitta Cup being contested for the first time.
It has been named in memory of Italian rugby legend and Scotland scrum coach from 2009-15, Massimo Cuttitta, who died from Covid last April aged 54.
Cuttitta helped McInally convert to hooker from the back row in the early stages of his career, and the 31-year-old believes the trophy is a fitting tribute.
McInally said: "He was very kind, very warm, very welcoming to everyone and I don't think you'd find many people who have anything other than that to say about him.
"It's just such a fitting idea and it was so nice to know that every time Scotland play Italy it'll be something, and he'll be there in a small way.
"I know his family are very proud of it. It'll be really emotional and hopefully we can win it and bring it back to Scotland and bring back a little bit of his legacy back to Scotland after the game."
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