Mack Hansen sends a message to Andy Farrell as Connacht hammer Ulster

Mack Hansen

Mack Hansen was exceptional again for Connacht.

He may not have been included in Ireland’s November squad, but Mack Hansen is showing Andy Farrell that he is one of the best wingers in the country having played just five games for Connacht.

Hansen has only been in the country for a few months, but already he is proving that he could be a brilliant option on the wing for Ireland, who he qualifies for through his Cork-born mother.

The 23-year-old was born and raised in Canberra and played for Australia’s U20s side back in 2018, but Hansen has come to Ireland in the hopes of playing senior international rugby, and he certainly hasn’t done those hopes any harm as of yet.

Connacht brush aside Ulster in their best performance of the season.

Hansen scored two impressive individual tries for Connacht in his side’s 36-11 win against Ulster, to take his total tally for the season to four from just five games.

The former Brumbies man has started in all of Connacht’s matches in the United Rugby Championship so far, and has rewarded Andy Friend’s faith in him as he poses a constant threat to opposition defences.

He did very well to intercept a pass from Billy Burns to race away for his first try, before spotting space on the edge of the ruck to race away for his second and Connacht’s fifth with the clock in the red.

His tally of four tries sees him rise to joint-second in the try-scoring table in this season’s URC alongside Benetton’s Gianmarco Lucchesi, and one behind Ulster’s Nick Timoney on five.

Mack Hansen’s versatility makes him a valuable option for Ireland.

While Hansen has started on the wing in all of his appearances for Connacht so far, he can also play at full back and as a fly-half, which makes him more versatile than most.

Ireland’s depth at full back was improved with the return of Simon Zebo, but Ireland don’t have too many options in the position outside of Hugo Keenan, with the likes of Jordan Larmour, Jacob Stockdale and Andrew Conway all playing primarily on the wing.

The Canberra native has shown that he is well able to deal with high balls, and scored an outstanding individual try from more than 60 metres out against the Bulls a few weeks ago after claiming the ball in the air.

We won’t be seeing Hansen in an Ireland jersey next month unless one of the back three options selected ahead of him get injured, but we may see him win a test cap in the Six Nations next year.

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