Monday 11 December 2017

Carbery racing certainty for Ireland

Joey Carberry. Photo: Sportsfile
Joey Carberry. Photo: Sportsfile

It is very much in keeping with Joe Schmidt's style of management that so much is kept in-house and away from the eye of the media.

It came to light yesterday how Ireland out-half Paddy Jackson stayed at home for personal reasons for the first of the three-week tour to the United States and Japan.

The Ulsterman will join the squad next week and this leaves Joey Carbery as a racing certainty to be confirmed as the starting out-half against America at the team announcement this evening.

It could well lead to an interesting match-up between Carbery and Dubliner AJ McGinty, expected to be the Eagles 'chosen one.'

Scratching beneath the surface, there are scant resources available to Schmidt, with Munster centre Rory Scannell the most obvious next-man-up should Carbery go down.

Former Leinster scrum-half John Cooney, on his way to Ulster next month, did step into ten in the odd emergency situation for Connacht last season.

Ireland U20 coach Peter Malone has handed debuts to fellow Munster men in centre David McCarthy and wing Liam Coombes in their last Pool match against New Zealand in Kutaisi, Georgia tomorrow morning (KO 12.30pm, Irish time - Eir Sport).

The strange situation exists in which there are 12 changes with just full-back Alan Tynan, centre Jack Kelly and number eight Seán Masterson retained in what is largely a second-string selection against the impressive Baby Blacks.

Ireland U20 (v New Zealand): A Tynan; M Silvester, J Kelly (capt), D McCarthy, L Coombes; C Fitzgerald, J Stewart; J Conway, A Maloney, G McGrath, G Coombes, J Regan, M Rea, J Foley, S Masterson.

Replacements: R Kelleher, J Duggan, C Connolly, F Wycherley, C Doris; J Stafford, C Dean, C Frawley.

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