'Tarf backing classy Carbery to hit heights
Published 05/05/2016 | 02:30
Ian Madigan's imminent departure from Leinster will open the door for several talented young play-makers to force their way into the first-team picture.
One of them, Joey Carbery, has already made his Pro12 debut - against Glasgow in March - and the Auckland-born 21-year-old's recent performances have propelled him into the frame to be Johnny Sexton's back-up next season.
Clontarf's excellent season, which will culminate in Sunday's AIL final against Cork Constitution at the Aviva Stadium, has largely been due to the form of Carbery and in a lot of people's eyes, he is destined for the top.
Carbery who began his rugby in Ireland with Athy, guided Blackrock College to the Leinster Schools Senior Cup title in 2014 and just two years on, he has the chance to land major silverware with Clontarf.
"He's a special player," says 'Tarf captain Ben Reilly. "I've been playing AIL for about 10 years and he's up there with the most talented players I've played with. He's different class."
Andy Wood has been around the AIL block and he knows a good player when he sees one.
"Joey is quite clearly a super talent," Wood enthuses. "For us he's shown a wide range of skills which have been well noticed at Leinster.
"I'd say he's got a big, big future, I certainly wish him well because I don't know how much we'll see him after this season, he'll graduate on pretty quickly."
Carbery has trained with the Leinster senior team since Christmas and has benefited from his time with Clontarf.
"I had a few chances this year, and I've felt I've done well," Carbery says. "Hopefully next year I get more of a chance, and can try and push on a bit more."