Six Nations: Heaslip hails Murrayfield – where he’s never lost

Sporting a Tintin quiff, the Ireland skipper Jamie Heaslip yesterday talked about the special atmosphere that makes Murrayfield one of his favourite grounds in the world.

“Murrayfield is etched in folklore almost in terms of the Six Nations and rugby in general,” enthused the Irish breakaway. “It’s one of those great stadiums and that is why I like coming here even with the club or if I’m lucky enough to play for my country here. It’s always a great place to come, I always love the atmosphere that’s in Edinburgh, that’s why I always say I like coming here. I hope to be happy at the end of the game alright tomorrow but there’s a lot to be done between now and then.”

Heaslip was too polite to light upon the real reason he enjoys Edinburgh, like most of the visiting squad he has never lost a competitive match for Ireland here. With debutants at ten and 12 there are fears in Ireland that their proud record reaching back to 2001 might end today but Heaslip backed Declan Kidney’s surprise midfield selection.

“Well [stand-off] Paddy [Jackson] and [inside centre] Luke [Marshall] have been around really since November so I’ve been chatting away with them since then really. They have been buzzing as new caps would be this week but in a weird way I said to them I kind of feel that they are already capped the way they performed [for an Ireland XV] against Fiji in November.”