Saturday 20 October 2018

David Wallace: Ireland have an embarrassment of backline riches but it was a Munster star who stood out in November

18 November 2017; Andrew Conway of Ireland is tackled by Levani Botia of Fiji during the Guinness Series International match between Ireland and Fiji at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
18 November 2017; Andrew Conway of Ireland is tackled by Levani Botia of Fiji during the Guinness Series International match between Ireland and Fiji at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

David Wallace

The November internationals worked out pretty well for Ireland - three wins over South Africa, Fiji and Argentina, and the real plus is the extent of the squad that Joe Schmidt can now call on.

It's most evident in the backline where Ireland have an embarrassment of riches. We talk about Munster having strength in depth in their back three, but it's ridiculous the talent that Ireland have at their disposal.

Overall, Andrew Conway was probably the stand-out performer from the couple of games he featured in, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him having a big say in the Six Nations.

And also from a Munster point of view, Darren Sweetnam had a brilliant impact too. He has a big future ahead of him and transferred his Munster form to the national scene now.

Adam Byrne made his international debut, while Jacob Stockdale has been an absolute revelation.

But it's not only in the back three where Ireland have become top-heavy with quality international-class players. That centre partnership against Argentina was undoubtedly the biggest we have seen in an Ireland jersey. 

Most notable was Chris Farrell's offload for Stockdale's first try against Argentina - it's exciting times across the board.

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