Sam Warburton won the battle of the breakdown in the World Cup quarter-final, but O'Brien had a productive tournament in the No 7 jersey, with a shared workload among the Irish back-row allowing the Tullow man to wreak his customary havoc on the ball. Certain to be a fixture in the Irish back-row for the foreseeable future but if an out-and-out 'fetcher' is brought in, O'Brien may be shifted.
A coming force at Leinster, with the strength, speed and bit of dog to be a force in the breakdown battle. Has been performing well, but it is a question of getting Ryan sufficient game-time in a squad packed with international back-row talent.
Like Ryan, has all the attributes to be a top-quality openside and the attitude to go with it. David Wallace's awful injury has freed up the jersey and O'Mahony looks like a perfect fit.
Faloon's biggest admirers seem to be outside Ulster, for the Ballynahinch man is consistently overlooked for the starting openside slot. Recent poor results may necessitate change of mind.