If there is one man who can accurately predict the impact that Joey Carbery can have at Munster then it’s Ronan O’Gara.
The legendary Munster and Ireland out-half knows what it takes to succeed in that pivotal position at the southern province.
His experience in his playing days, in addition to coaching around the world where he most recently helped the Crusaders to back-to-back Super Rugby titles, has given O’Gara a further insight into what it takes to succeed in the modern game.
It also helps that the Corkman has experience coaching Carbery from his time involved in Joe Schmidt’s Ireland setup during the summer tour of USA and Japan in 2017.
It’s brilliant,” O’Gara told the Irish Examiner of Carbery joining Munster. “I haven’t been as excited about it as this, I got a great buzz out of it because it’s Munster.”
O’Gara believes that Johann van Graan has a serious talent at his disposal and it could be the difference to Munster finally ending their trophy drought as he describes his beloved province “as not far away” in bridging that gap.
Ultimately, it’s what Carbery will bring to the team which will excite fans, with his ability with ball in hand something which not any out-halves in Ireland possess to the same level.
“You’ve seen a few of the images where he glides and he can change a game. It’s a great attribute to have, he needs to get better at his game management and that would be great for Munster because to earn the respect of the very knowledgeable Munster crowd, he’ll want to know how to manage a game, won’t he?
“Like, he’s going to get more and more marked as well, so maybe the break isn’t for him but he plays on the line so he can play inside or outside, or he can go through a hole.
“I think that try against Fiji (last November), no other back could have done that.”
Munster will finalise their pre-season preparations when they take on the Exeter Chiefs on Friday night in Cork. In terms of Carbery’s debut, Munster fans will likely have to wait until the end of September to see the former Leinster out-half line out in red.