Ronan O’Gara has praised Jack Carty’s recent performance against Leicester Tigers, arguing that it showed that the Connacht fly-half is well able for international rugby.
Carty hasn’t played for Ireland since the 2019 Rugby World Cup and has seemingly copped a significant amount of blame for the loss to Japan in that tournament.
The 29-year-old has continued to pull the strings for Connacht since then, however, and was superb in his side’s losing effort against Leicester in the latest round of the Heineken Champions Cup.
O’Gara was writing in his column for the Irish Examiner and expressed his appreciation for Carty’s performance against the Tigers.
Ronan O’Gara on Jack Carry.
“Connacht should have been a bit disappointed coming away Sunday from Welford Road. By half time they had the Tigers by the tail and Freddie Burns was removed from the fray, looking dejected and bereft of confidence,” O’Gara wrote.
“It seemed the moment to test Leicester’s pulse and they never did. Finlay Bealham’s yellow as less important than the bullying Dan Cole inflicted on Connacht in the third quarter.
“In all that though, Jack Carty stood tall. Sunday was a big day for the Connacht 10’s game management at that level. When we talk about enhancing test credentials, this is what we refer to — in a losing effort, he kicks all his goals, nails a last-minute drop goal, his line kicking is good, and his tackling was competent.
“Some believe you make progress in the pecking order with a man-of-the-match performance at the Sportsground. Not true. Far better to maintain your own personal standards at a high level even when you are beaten.”
Jack Carty was on a mission for @connachtrugby yesterday ?
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) December 20, 2021
Injuries present the Connacht fly-half with an opportunity.
Although Carty has yet to win an Ireland cap under Andy Farrell as head coach, his time away from international rugby may soon come to an end.
Both Johnny Sexton and Joey Carbery are currently sidelined due to injury and could struggle to make Ireland’s opening Six Nations match against Wales in February.
Harry Byrne was selected ahead of Carty in Ireland’s squad for the Autumn Nations Series, but the Connacht fly-half’s experience could very well see him start ahead of the young Leinster playmaker.