Brian O’Driscoll doesn’t believe that Joey Carbery poses a “genuine threat” to Johnny Sexton’s starting Ireland position for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
When Carbery made the move to Munster at the beginning of last season, getting regular and consistent game time in the 10 shirt was very much at the forefront of his mind so to increase the number of opportunities available to him in a green jersey.
Carbery’s maiden season with the southern province was a successful one as he helped guide Munster through a difficult pool in the Champions Cup while also producing a number of eye-catching performances in the PRO14.
However, an injury disrupted second half to the season denied him the opportunity to impress further.
Meanwhile, Sexton featured heavily for Ireland in the Six Nations without hitting the lofty heights which saw him crowned World Player of the Year for 2018.
A thumb injury to Sexton has disrupted his preseason somewhat as Carbery and the other two out-halves in the squad, Jack Carty and Ross Byrne, take the reins in training.
However, although there are some calls among the Irish rugby public to see Carbery start in bigger games, Ireland legend O’Driscoll believes that it’s still too soon for the Auckland born 23-year-old.
“He’s very exciting,” O’Driscoll said of Carbery.
“I don’t think he’s a genuine threat yet to Johnny. As soon as this World Cup is over they’ve got to start thinking that way. But now with what Johnny’s achieved, he is World Player of the Year.
“By his (Sexton’s) standards maybe he had a shaky few months and hasn’t had the same performances as he had in the last few seasons, but he’s still vital to Ireland’s success in the World Cup.
“It’s an easy selection because he knows exactly what the team needs to achieve and everyone’s role within it.”
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