Tuesday 17 September 2019

Tiernan must keep shining to be Joe's No 15

Connacht full-back Tiernan O'Halloran. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Connacht full-back Tiernan O'Halloran. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Just as he has for the past two or three years, Tiernan O'Halloran proved against Scarlets that he is a top-class, international-standard player last weekend.

He scored two brilliant tries against the reigning PRO14 champions right off the back of an injury and hopefully he can continue that form for the rest of the season, as it would be massive for Connacht's chance of a revival.

But still, you just don't know will he get his opportunity on the biggest stage and in the other green jersey. I think he is well deserving of his chance and I cannot see why Joe Schmidt wouldn't pick him.

I suppose the only thing holding him back is that Tiernan is a victim of circumstance and his versatility has cost him when it came to racking up the Irish caps. Because at this stage of his career he should have had a lot more opportunities.

He's the complete player and now he has got a lot of European experience under his belt too, but I think the next few weeks could be crucial to his international ambitions.

Playing against Ulster Tiernan will be tested massively against one of the best backlines in the league, and when Connacht face Munster it's another huge interprovincial derby, direct opponents for the Ireland No 15 shirt.

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