Brian O’Driscoll identifies several Connacht stars in contention for Six Nations squad

Brian O'Driscoll

Brian O’Driscoll believes several Connacht stars are in contention for an Ireland call-up for the upcoming Six Nations off the back of the province’s impressive performances.

Connacht endured a difficult start to the season, as they lost three of their first four matches in the URC, but Andy Friend’s men have steadily improved in recent times.

Friend can take plenty of credit for Connacht’s performances, as they employ an entertaining and largely effective style of play, while his players have also executed the Australian coach‘s game plan to near perfection at times.

O’Driscoll was speaking on Off The Ball and argued that fly-half Jack Carty has been crucial to Connacht’s efforts and that the Athlone man is doing everything he can to get back into the Ireland squad.

Brian O’Driscoll on Jack Carty.

“It feels like we’re talking about Jack Carty an awful lot and then if you look at the other 10s in the Ireland set-up, we haven’t seen Johnny Sexton since November, the Byrne brothers haven’t played since November themselves I don’t think, you’ve got [Joey] Carbery injured,” O’Driscoll commented.

“So maybe that’s why we’re talking about Carty but also the fact that’s he’s their co-captain, he’s had a couple of really big performances, he played well against Stade Francais and Leicester, he knocked over the drop goal to get them losing-bonus point.

“He’s doing everything that is asked of him to get back into the international reckoning.”

Young Connacht stars have put their hands up.

Carty isn’t the only Connacht player to have stood out recently, with several players having breakthrough seasons with the province.

O’Driscoll named Mack Hansen, Cian Prendergast and Conor Oliver as three players who could soon be winning international honours for Ireland.

“Mack Hansen – they’ve got a try scorer in him. Cian Prendergast is playing really great rugby, having watched his circuitous route to getting to playing top professional rugby, O’Driscoll said.

“I think they’re starting to have guys really step up and put their hand up for international selection. Conor Oliver is another one. They’re an exciting team to watch.”

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