Sunday 25 February 2018

Molony backs Leavy to continue rise

Leinster second-row Ross Molony during squad training has tipped team-mate Dan Leavy to secure a place on the Ireland team. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Leinster second-row Ross Molony during squad training has tipped team-mate Dan Leavy to secure a place on the Ireland team. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Leinster second-row Ross Molony believes that his team-mate Dan Leavy has what it takes to force his way into Joe Schmidt's plans.

The pair have played together since their days in St Michael's and with Leavy enjoying an outstanding breakthrough season, Molony insists he is ready for the international stage.

After his man of the match display from the bench for Leinster last weekend, Leavy was recalled to the Ireland squad this week as he looked to impress Schmidt. "It's brilliant to see Dan doing so well," Molony enthused.

"He was a year ahead of me in school, so I played with him for two years at school senior level. It's great to see him kicking on and for him to come on, I think eight or nine minutes into that game and win the man of the match, I thought he was brilliant for us.

"He's been great, a real good 7. It just shows how competitive it is in Ireland and in Leinster that a player with that skill is being kept out of the Irish squad.

"He's captained me a few times at schools level and then with the underage Leinster and Irish teams, so he's got great experience as captain and it really shows in games and training, you can really hear his voice."

Molony enjoyed his breakthrough season last year when he thrived in the international windows. The 22-year-old faces stiff competition in the second-row but he has featured 13 times this season and is expected to start his seventh game of the campaign against the Dragons tomorrow evening.

"In the past I've focused on the period when the internationals are away so the World Cup last year and the Six Nations last year and this year, so it's a huge opportunity for everyone to wear the jersey and get a chance to keep it and not give it back easy when the internationals come back," Molony maintained.

"You look at the world-class second-rows and how they make an impact on a game. It's just getting your hands on the ball, being a threat to the opposition and that physical presence."

Irish Independent

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