Ronan O’Gara has praised the form of Munster’s Joey Carbery and suggested that his experience will see him start ahead of Ross Byrne for Ireland.
O’Gara, Ireland’s second most-capped player and highest ever points scorer, was speaking at the launch of #AnswerIrelandsCall as a part of the Guinness Series 2018.
The Cork man won 128 caps for Ireland, winning three Triple Crowns and the Grand Slam in 2009. He also played on three British and Irish Lions tours, winning two caps.
The former fly-half played for sixteen seasons with Munster, with whom he won two Heineken Cups, before retiring as a player in 2013.
Ireland manager Joe Schmidt will have some tough decisions to make ahead of these four tests, not least at fly-half.
Joey Carbery and Ross Byrne have both been in fantastic form for their clubs. When asked which player he would choose to start, O’Gara said:
“I would say obviously it seems like they’re at two different stages.
“It seems, Joey seems pretty established as a number 10 already because he’s had a great few months with Munster and Ross Byrne is obviously looking to win his first cap.
“So I think Joey probably has the advantage in the fact that he has more experience. For big games he’s such a big player.
“He can play in any position in the backline after 50 minutes if you ask me. He can play 10, 12, 13, 15. He’s a good addition there.
“For Ross, it’s a case of, I suppose it’s a great occasion for anyone trying to play for their country. He was unlucky in Australia not to get on.
“He’s hoping he can get his break this weekend. If he gets his break, he needs to be able to show his teammates that he’s capable of taking it.”
Ireland’s strength in depth is certainly a good problem for Joe Schmidt and Ireland to have ahead of four tough November tests.
Irish Rugby Fixtures:
- Ireland v Italy – 3rd November – Soldier Field, Chicago – 20:00 (KO)
- Ireland v Argentina – 10th November – Aviva Stadium, Dublin – 18:30 (KO)
- Ireland v New Zealand – 17th November – Aviva Stadium, Dublin – 19:00 (KO)
- Ireland v USA – 24th November – Aviva Stadium, Dublin – 18:30 (KO)
Guinness today launched the Guinness Series by announcing their campaign #AnswerIrelandsCall in the presence of Irish Rugby legend Ronan O’Gara. #AnswerIrelandsCall celebrates the camaraderie between rugby fans, by giving them a voice and rallying them to get behind the Irish Rugby team. To encourage fans to get involved, Guinness is giving away a number of pairs to each fixture including the massive All Blacks game at the Aviva Stadium. Fans should to go the Guinness Facebook page and leave their message of support using the #AnswerIrelandsCall to be in with a chance to win tickets to the Guinness Series (terms and conditions apply)*.
Guinness is the official title sponsor of the Guinness series and a proud supporter of Irish Rugby.
Enjoy Guinness sensibly. Visit www.drinkaware.ie