Wednesday 7 December 2016

Who can fill Leamy's boots?

Published 06/01/2010 | 05:00

DAVID WALLACE

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The logical solution. Wallace's class is transferable across the back row and he excelled at No 8 for Munster last season to the point where he was a live candidate for a Test slot there going into the Lions tour. Ireland would prefer Wallace to play at openside, given that is where he will start alongside Jamie Heaslip in the Six Nations but, for a player of his experience, switching back to openside in February would not be an issue.

JAMES COUGHLAN

A specialist No 8 who turned in an excellent performance in that position during the defeat to Ulster last weekend. Coughlan has only four Heineken Cup appearances off the bench since 2006/07 but has the graft and footballing skills for the big occasion.

ALAN QUINLAN

Has spent his career playing at openside and, predominantly, blindside flanker but undoubtedly has the ability to fill in for Leamy, which would allow Donnacha Ryan to start at No 6.

DONNACHA RYAN

A natural second-row, Ryan's all-round abilities have seen him excel at blindside flanker also. However, although he has been touted as a replacement for Leamy in certain quarters, he is unlikely to be asked to make the adjustment.

Irish Independent

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