‘Ireland will have to come knocking for Jack Carty’ – Andy Friend

Carty

Ireland will “have to come knocking” for Jack Carty if the Connacht fly-half keeps up his impressive recent form, according to Andy Friend.

Carty last played for his country at the 2019 Rugby World Cup, coming off the bench in the 35-point win against Russia in Japan.

The Connacht man was brilliant in his side’s victory over Leinster in the Pro14 last month scoring 25 points, including two tries, in the western province’s first victory in Dublin since 2002.

Despite this, Carty was not selected by Andy Farrell for Ireland‘s 2021 Six Nations squad, with Johnny Sexton, Ross Byrne and Billy Burns being picked ahead of him.

‘He still has ambitions to play for his country’

Friend, Connacht’s head coach, told the Irish Examiner that he was confident that Carty would soon put himself back into contention for Ireland if he continues in his current form.

“We have regular chats and I am aware of his frustration. At the same time I am aware, and he is aware, that he needs to bring more consistency to his game and that has been the message delivered to him.

“He is pragmatic about that. He still has ambitions to play for his country. I think he is in a real purple patch at the moment.

“We are starting to see the Jack Carty that I saw in my first year here when he was brilliant and which led to that Irish selection and the World Cup.

“He is a really talented player and we all see that. I think his ability off the boot is one of the best I’ve ever seen. He’s got a brilliant long kicking game, he’s got lovely little grubbers, his kick for touch is fantastic.

“His ability to see space and put the ball there is probably the best I’ve seen. I love seeing that bloke when he is full of confidence and at the moment he looks like he’s full of confidence.

“If he keeps that up I believe the Irish team will have to come knocking for him,” Friend said.

Moving on from World Cup disappointment

Carty last started for Ireland in their disappointing loss to Japan at the World Cup and has been largely overlooked by the national team since that defeat.

However, Friend is confident that his first-choice fly-half has moved on since then and has improved as a player.

“With regard to the World Cup stuff, Jack has 100% parked that and I think we have seen that now with the form he is in. He has grown since the World Cup.

“He worked really really hard on the performance skills part of the game and I’m seeing real growth in the bloke and at the age of 28 he still has a lot of growing in him.”

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