Monday 26 September 2016

Level-headed Dillane will be real success

Published 04/03/2016 | 02:30

Ultan Dillane on the charge against England after coming on as a replacement to make his first appearance in an Ireland jersey. Photo: Sportsfile
Ultan Dillane on the charge against England after coming on as a replacement to make his first appearance in an Ireland jersey. Photo: Sportsfile

It's a pleasure to see Ultan Dillane make a name for himself in a green shirt in such a short space of time, writes Johnny O'Connor.

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I remember when I saw him in action first; it was November 2014 and he was playing for the Connacht Eagles against London Scottish. I knew straight away the guy had something special, he was ruthless in the tackle and went around the pitch looking for that big hit.

If you're playing up front in this game you need to relish the big collisions, and Dillane is one player who seems to thrive on those tackles.

Not only that, but we saw what he could do on the front-foot against England too. He can really go when he's given a yard of space and that's invaluable for a second-row.

It gives him that something different, and will stand him in good stead in the future. To me, he resembles something of a young Paul O'Connell, with an added sense of attacking awareness.

You don't want to blow these guys up when they're so young, because often it does end up going to their head. But Ultan seems really level-headed, and hopefully if he can stay fit he could be a star of the future.

Irish Independent

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