Alan Quinlan: CJ Stander at No. 8 "is an option"

The Munster star has only played at blindside flanker for Ireland

BY Daniel Kelly 10:14 Friday 10 February 2017, 10:14 10 Feb 2017

CJ Stander and Jamie Heaslip Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

CJ Stander continues to impress for Munster at No. 8, but he has yet to play in that position for Ireland.

Stander's 11 caps have come for Ireland at blindside flanker. In each of those games, Jamie Heaslip has been at the back of the Irish scrum.

Heaslip has played in 97 tests for Ireland and the Lions. On all but one occasion he played at No. 8. A substitute appearance in the 2008 Six Nations against Italy saw the Leinster star play on the flank. 

Speaking on Friday morning, Newstalk Breakfast's Alan Quinlan thinks it may be time to have a discussion about the position, with both players now realistic contenders for the spot. 

"There's competition there [at No. 8]", Quinlan said. "Stander - there's an argument, that he's more dynamic off the base of the scrum. Jamie Heaslip has been very, very consistent. A really top performer for Ireland. There's pressure there now."

"When you lose a match, these questions get asked. That will ignite all of the back row to up their game... I think Stander to 8 is an option, so Jamie Heaslip will have to up his game this weekend."

"There is pressure. I wouldn't make any changes at the moment in the back-row. I'd give them a chance, but they have to play well this weekend."

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