Rory Scannell has been awarded the accolade as Munster’s Young Player of the Year as well as Academy Player of the Year this afternoon at a ceremony at the Silver Springs hotel in Cork. The 22 year-old has had an immense season in red, and has been a breath of fresh air in the centre.
— Munster Rugby (@Munsterrugby) May 13, 2016
We look at three reasons why he was deserving of the prizes and how his form in the red of Munster makes him pivotal to the IRFU’s plans moving forward.
Be it at 10, 12, 13 or 15, Scannell is a quality operator. Anywhere Anthony Foley needed him to cover, he was able to do a job, and settled well into the midfield during the season, striking up a potent partnership with Francis Saili.
The importance of having such a talented, versatile exponent as Scannell should by no means be overstated, particularly in a injury-laden Munster squad which has constantly faced questions regarding it’s depth in talent. Scannell has provided a reassuring sense of stability in what has been somewhat of a sinking ship of a back line over the duration of the season, the significance of which cannot be stressed enough.
Under a regime which has lead to a Munster outfit that displays a stale, lethargic brand of rugby more often than not; Scannell’s silky skill-set coupled with an astute eye at identifying potential holes in opposition defences has lent to Scannell becoming an attacking life-force within Munster’s midfield.
Scannell possesses the skillset of a playmaking 10, and when applying it when playing in the centre, it can be a deadly tactic, just ask Owen Farrell.
Scannell has been a breath of fresh air this season. While 2015/2016 will be looked back upon as a disappointment, there are some positives to take away. There are new leaders to carry the torch, and Scannell being cut from the same cloth as the likes of Ronan O’ Gara with a similar temperament and strong self-belief, is very much one of them.
Going by form this year, the Corkonian looks set to have a big future ahead, in both the red of Munster and the green of Ireland.
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