"Super talented" Carbery can play anywhere for Ireland

Brian O'Driscoll reckons Ireland's rising star has plenty of versatility

BY Adrian Collins 23:03 Friday 17 November 2017, 23:03 17 Nov 2017

©INPHO/Billy Stickland

With Joey Carbery slotting in at out-half for Joe Schmidt against Fiji on Saturday, it's clear that the Ireland head coach sees him as a back up, and possibly eventual successor to Johnny Sexton for the national side. 

At club level, the story seems to be a bit different, with his form at full-back showing that the young star has a lot in his locker. 

Speaking to Nathan Murphy on Off The Ball, Brian O'Driscoll suggested that those two positions might not be the end of his versatility either. 

"I do see someone super-talented. I think he sees himself as 10, but you look at some of the super-talented players around the world, and Beauden Barrett is the obvious one who has played a bit at 10 and at 15."

"It is the obvious switch," O'Driscoll added, "if you're going to have multiple positions and one of them is 10, it's easier to fit in at 15 because you're able to read the game well. You need to have a clarity of thought when you're in those two positions to pull the trigger on those tough decisions."

O"Driscoll also stated that while 10 and 15 were options for Carbery, there was a good chance that he had all the attributes needed to slot in to another position also.

"Could I see Joey Carbery playing 12? Absolutely if you wanted that second distributor, but there are just a few question marks over his physicality and whether or not he can  match the likes of Stuart McCloskey coming running down his channel."

However, O'Driscoll did sound a note of caution for Carbery and Ireland ahead of the game against Fiji, noting that any mistakes would be punished Nemani Nadolo, as Leinster learned to their detriment.  

"These guys like to counter attack and you're not going to see the ball kicked a lot from them if Joey Carbery kicks it in behind. 

"You want to make sure your kick contest is good, because we saw in the RDS when Leinster kicked poorly to Nadolo, he destroyed them when he carried back. He carried for over 100 metres in that game and scored a couple of tries. You're going to have to have a smart kicking game."


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