Thursday 19 September 2019

Scarlets boss tells Joe Schmidt to give Tadhg Beirne call-up to Ireland squad for Australian tour


Tadhg Beirne. Photo: Sportsfile
Tadhg Beirne. Photo: Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac has urged his fellow Kiwi Joe Schmidt to include Tadhg Beirne in his Ireland squad for next month's three-Test tour to Australia.

Schmidt will reveal his selection today and Beirne, who will join Munster ahead of next season, is expected to travel for what would be his first call-up.

The 26-year-old Kildare native has been outstanding for the Scarlets again this season, and has clocked up plenty of minutes en route to helping guide the Welsh side to the Champions Cup semi-final, as well as Saturday's Guinness PRO14 decider against his former side, Leinster.

A product of the Blues' Academy, Beirne spent time in Carton House during the Six Nations with a view to travelling to Australia.

"I personally think he would be a great addition to the squad," Pivac said of his star lock, who last weekend was named Scarlets' Players' Player of the Year and Supporters' Player of the Year.


"He can certainly cover two or three positions. I think on form alone, he deserves an opportunity.

"I hope Joe does take him down there because I don't think he will let Ireland down. I think he will play with a lot of pride and a lot of passion. He will do a good job."

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Bundee Aki will recover from an ankle injury in time to take his place in the squad.

The Connacht centre was due to captain the Barbarians against England on Sunday, but he rolled his ankle in training and has been pulled from the game as a precaution.

The Irish Independent understands, however, that the injury is not serious and Aki will travel to Australia.

As well as the uncapped Beirne, Leinster out-half Ross Byrne may also have done enough to force his way into the reckoning for the first time. Schmidt is due to name a full-strength squad, with his major injury concerns surrounding Robbie Henshaw and Iain Henderson (both knee).

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