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Jamie Heaslip has praised Niall Scannell for his efforts against the Māori All Blacks, having been called up to Ireland’s squad in New Zealand on short notice.

Scannell has only been in New Zealand for a couple of days, having made the long journey from Ireland after being called up as an injury replacement for Rob Herring.

Despite having only joined up with the squad so recently, Scannell was named on the bench for the opening game of the tour, and replaced Dave Heffernan at hooker after 50 minutes.

The Cork man certainly wasn’t just making up the numbers either, as he made a noticeable impact off the bench, as Ireland’s scrum and line out improved while he also made a couple of powerful carries in close quarters.

Jamie Heaslip on Niall Scannell.

Former Ireland international Jamie Heaslip was highly complimentary of Scannell’s efforts, especially in light of the long journey he underwent just days before the game.

“What an effort from Niall Scannell,” Heaslip tweeted.

“Not in an Ireland jersey for some time, gets the call to jump on the plane last minute, definitely still jet lagged, puts in a serious effort on the field with a particular impact on the scrum!”

The Munster man’s return to the Ireland squad.

Scannell has won 20 caps for Ireland to date, although before today he last appeared in a green jersey at the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Andy Farrell has taken over as Ireland’s head coach since then and he has preferred Ronan Kelleher, Dan Sheehan, Rob Herring and Dave Heffernan to Scannell during his time in charge.

The 30-year-old has certainly put himself back into the international frame now however, having impressed in his 30-minute cameo off the bench against the Māori.

Scannell was at home in Cork just a few days ago, although it now looks very possible that he could be named on the bench for Ireland’s first test against the All Blacks at Eden Park.

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