Three to watch: Ireland in 2019 Six Nations – and beyond

The 2019 Six Nations is set to be a tournament with even more on the line than usual. While winning the event is obviously important, this will also mark the last major competitive chance for players to represent their country before the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

Appropriately, St Patrick’s Day brought joy and jubilation as Ireland swept the board at the 2018 Six Nations.

Ireland will have the usual suspects in the starting lineup when they line up against France on 1 February in Paris, but who are the bolters to keep an eye on over the next few months that could make an impact? Here are three such Irishmen that are either making a significant impact at club level for the first time, or who have found superlative form of late.

Conor Murray – Scrumhalf

The first player on this list is an obvious choice as an Irish player to watch, but that doesn’t make him a bad pick. Without him, there is a commonly-held belief that Ireland’s current 2019 World Cup odds in Rugby Union betting markets would be a sight longer, and he is perhaps the only regular Ireland starter that could be considered the very best at his position on the planet.

Murray – who recently signed a new contract with Munster until the end of the 2021-22 season – has made his mark on the game with his kicking and passing displays. He has unerring accuracy in both of these areas, but it is his ability to box kick that will give Ireland license to go into all-out attack mode, during their upcoming Six Nations defence.

No Murray, no World Cup?…

Joey Carbery – Fly-half

It is hard to see Carbery getting the starting shirt at No. 10 for Ireland during the 2019 Six Nations, but the Munster wunderkind will certainly find his way into the 23-man squad, and some playing time is also guaranteed.

Already christened as the ‘next Ronan O’Gara’, Carbery moved from Leinster to Munster over the summer in order to further his development as one of the most promising out-halves in the entire world. The 22-year-old has an ample number of years to make an impression on the global stage, but early signs have been promising.

Above all, Carbery has a confidence and swagger unusual of players that are so young, and he has taken well to the leadership role associated with playing at the pivot position. That said, he also has the solid tactical kicking game needed to back up his hype, and the ability to make the right decisions in pressure situations.

Expect to see Carbery play an increased role against some of the weaker teams in the tournament.

Jordan Larmour – Wing/Fullback

Larmour made his Irish debut in the 2018 Six Nations Championship, and he will be looking to use the upcoming edition of the event to truly make his name known on the world stage.

It is his ability to make something happen out of absolutely nothing that allows Larmour to stand out from the pack. Larmour can use his nasty sidestep to beat opponents in a tight area, and has an outrageous offload in his pocket. His pace also makes him a danger every time he enters the backline or chases a kick.

This Ireland team is difficult to break into and maintain a place within, but Larmour is such an exciting prospect. Ultimately, he is one of those players that fans buy a ticket to see, and his time as a consistent starter for the Six Nations holders is coming sooner rather than later.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

You must be logged in to post a comment.