Tuesday 28 March 2017

David Wallace: Ireland youngsters give hope after England loss

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 never a nice feeling to leave Twickenham in defeat, but there were a few highlights from an Irish perspective and a lot of them focused on the newer members of the squad, writes David Wallace.

Particularly the debutants stood out, with Stuart McCloskey and Josh van der Flier having fantastic first starts, and Ultan Dillane making a massive impact off the bench.

Dillane was a real bright spark and it was something that Ireland needed at that stage of the game. They were in the ascendancy at the time, and they needed to add something different to stay there.

He came on and offered something really different. After all of the talk about Maro Itoje being the big English hope going into the game, he was largely anonymous. Dillane was only on the field for about 14 minutes and he gave a very memorable display.

McCloskey was brilliant too - he made a couple of great line-breaks around half-time. He also stood up in defence against some big England ball-carriers.

Van der Flier also produced a fine display considering the setting. Playing at openside against England at Twickenham is always a baptism of fire and he relished the opportunity.

Irish Independent

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