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Jerry Flannery is concerned by the number of Leinster players in the Ireland squad

Jerry Flannery Leinster

Jerry Flannery is concerned that many of Ireland’s crucial players won’t get enough game time as most of them are playing for Leinster.

10 Leinster players started today, while another four were on the bench, as Ireland put in a dominant display against Argentina at the Aviva Stadium.

A number of players who could find themselves on the bench on a regular basis for Ireland in the near future – such as Dan Sheehan, Cian Healy and Harry Byrne – don’t start for Leinster when everyone is available, and as a result, could be short of minutes in big games by the time the Six Nations comes around.

Former Ireland hooker Flannery was speaking on RTE after the match and admitted that he is concerned that many players who could now be crucial to their country will struggle to get game time for their province.

Jerry Flannery on Ireland’s Leinster contingent.

“From here until the Six Nations begins I think something that’s going to be a big, big factor is that when you look at the prevalence of Leinster players in the match day 23, how are they all going to get enough game time between now and then?” Flannery questioned.

“When you look at the front row alone, you’ve got [Andrew] Porter, [Ronan] Kelleher, [Tadhg] Furlong, and on the bench you’ve got [Dan] Sheehan and [Cian] Healy. Are all of them going to be playing all of the time and getting enough?

“There is probably enough game time to split it up betwen them, but I think how Leinster go will have a big impact on how this Irish team go because there are so many of their players involved.

“I was delighted to see Joey Carbery play well tonight and Conor Murray involved, because we have to have depth.Β The overriding thing that stood out to me is that they are working very strongly off the spine of what Leinster have there, so it’s important that Leinster go well.”

Leinster are churning out international quality players.

The tally of 10 Leinster players starting against Argentina today was actually the lowest of the Autumn Nations series, with 12 Leinster players having started in the tests against Japan and New Zealand.

Even Jamison Gibson-Park, who played brilliantly against Japan and New Zealand, often doesn’t start for Leinster, with Luke McGrath preferred to him on a semi-regular basis in big games.

There are plenty of big games to come for Leinster before the Six Nations, with four interprovincial derbies and four Heineken Champions Cup pool games set to be played in the coming months.

Leinster head coach Leo Cullen will be sure to rotate his squad for those games, although it is true that some players that could start for Ireland in the event of one or two injuries may find game time hard to come by in club rugby.

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