The rise of Munster's Scannell brothers has caught Keith Wood's eye

Rory and Niall have been part of a good season for the province

BY Raf Diallo 21:11 Wednesday 11 January 2017, 21:11 11 Jan 2017

Leinster’s Jonathan Sexton is tackled by Munster’s Rory Scannell and Niall Scannell ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Former Ireland captain Keith Wood has spoken about the impression brothers Niall and Rory Scannell have made at Munster this season.

Centre Rory (23) and hooker Niall (24) have enjoyed a positive season for a province that is performing well in the Guinness Pro 12 and European Rugby Champions Cup.  

Speaking to Off The Ball, gave his take on the two Cork siblings.

"Rory Scannell has really benefited from Bleyendaal's comfort and composure. He seems to be very comfortable with that," he said.

"And to talk up Jaco Taute yet again, there is a certainty for him for Rory Scannell outside him and he has grown in that role because of it. He's very comfortable with it. He's grown and become a really good option for Munster."

Niall Scannell's emergence means there is potentially more depth at hooker at international level for Ireland.  

"In the front row, Niall Scannell's starts have been pretty excellent," said Wood.

"I think he's properly in the mix [for Ireland]. [Ulster's Rob] Herring is in the mix and for me I think [Richardt] Strauss has struggled somewhat. The change in the scrummaging over the last couple of years has become a little bit harder for smaller guys and the bigger you are at hooker, the easier it is at the higher level now at this stage and now I think it could be well worth a look." 

Keith also reserved praise for experienced Munster and Ireland second row Donnacha Ryan, commenting that it has been a "pleasure" to watch him.


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