Sunday 17 December 2017

England World Cup winner praises Ultan Dillane's 'mental ignorance' ahead of Boks clash

Ultan Dillane of Ireland, centre, with team-mates Jared Payne, left, and Dave Kilcoyne of during squad training in Westerford High School, Cape Town, South Africa. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Ultan Dillane of Ireland, centre, with team-mates Jared Payne, left, and Dave Kilcoyne of during squad training in Westerford High School, Cape Town, South Africa. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Former England star Will Greenwood has backed Connacht lock Ultan Dillane to be one of Ireland's big performers in the upcoming three-Test tour of South Africa.

Dillane made telling impacts from the bench in the Six Nations and enjoyed a stellar season at club level as Connacht clinched a historic Pro12 title.

2003 World Cup winner Greenwood has pinpointed the 22-year-old as being one of the key men for Ireland in Cape Town tomorrow along with South-African born flanker CJ Stander.

"CJ Stander and Ultan Dillane - every side needs them. The men who have no fear, who have no mental blocks about pain barriers, or what may or may not be the repercussions of running into large immovable objects that are represented by the mighty Boks," Greenwood wrote in the Daily Telegraph

"Stander has come up through South African age group rugby but now is a Munsterman and an Irish talisman. Heading home to South Africa will be an opportunity he will relish. There will be no room for old sentiments, catch ups with old friends.

"To beat South Africa the cunning and guile must come from men such as Conor Murray and Jarred Payne in the backline, but the backbone and the hard yards must come from the big ball carriers to rock back the Springbok press defence. Stander will lead it but must get help from others.

"Dillane is cut from the same cloth of mental ignorance to suffering. Impacts off the bench in the Six Nations and now a Pro12 winners medal under his belt. He can rock anyone. A very powerful ball carrier who can play a bit with it. Could have a massive influence on the game coming off the bench and providing the next wave of assault weapon."

Ireland face the Springboks at the iconic Newlands tomorrow evening (kick-off 4pm Irish time).

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