Scannell call-up a feather in Flannery's cap
Back at the start of the season there wouldn't have been too many predicting Niall Scannell's call-up to the Ireland squad for the Six Nations, but it's thoroughly deserved and it's great to see his brilliant form rewarded by Joe Schmidt, writes David Wallace.
And it's a sign of this Munster team's resurgence. It is a very well-rounded team and all of the players are performing. He is one of those players and he is one of the unsung heroes.
Niall is a big, physical presence. Nowadays hookers are normally shorter, lower to the ground, and mobile guys. But he is a big guy and has great scrummaging ability as well as the big carries, he puts in across the park.
It just shows the benefits of having Jerry Flannery there. Niall's game has come a long way, and his darts are so good at lineout time as a result of working with Jerry. He has a very high consistency there.
Niall is deserves his place. The hooker position is important in terms of lineouts and scrummaging, and they are seen as almost an extra back-row these days in how they carry and how they can poach at the breakdown.
It will be fantastic exposure for him, and it's great for Munster with 13 players in the squad. It says a lot about what's going on in the province.