Rugby

'Devin Toner is the concrete foundation in the Irish side' - Mike McCarthy


Share this article


Devin Toner is the glue that holds Ireland together, according to former Irish international Mike McCarthy.

The London-born lock rated Toner as Ireland's best second-rower on Friday’s OTB AM, somewhat surprisingly considering James Ryan’s performances since bursting onto the scene. While McCarthy did say that Ryan doesn’t really have any weaknesses in his game, Toner’s importance to the team can’t be overlooked.

"He is the concrete, the cement, the foundations in that Irish side that allows everyone to play well," McCarthy commented. 

"You always come out of the game thinking, jeez, it really shows what’s missing when Dev isn’t playing."

Devin Toner

 

Toner doesn’t bring the same attacking intensity to a game that the likes of Ryan, Iain Henderson and Tadhg Beirne bring, yet what he lacks in pure power he makes up for in his work-rate and set-piece play.

"I think Dev would be the first to say he’s not a power athlete," McCarthy clarified. 

"So when you’re looking at those players it's probably very tempting to say I’d love to have those players in my team in terms of their carrying and ability to get over the game-line… and for some reason it just doesn’t quite gel.

"I’m not sure of the exact science behind it, but you just seem to need Dev there to gel those guys together."

McCarthy also had high praise for Ireland’s next two second-rowers on his own personal pecking order, Henderson and Beirne.

"We know what Hendy brings when he’s fit and Tadhg Beirne has been a revelation," the former Leinster man stated. 

"He’s carried that form from Scarlets across to Munster, he brings a real poach threat to the breakdown.

"Iain Henderson and Tadhg Beirne, they both can cover back row obviously, so when you’re going to a World Cup they’re very valuable players."

While Beirne has a good all-round game, McCarthy did say that his size may work as a factor against him, saying himself that he himself “felt pretty small” when he was playing internationally rugby, despite standing at an impressive 6ft 5.

Written by Eoin Harte

Subscribe to Off The Ball's YouTube channel for more videos, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.


Share this article


Read more about

Devin Toner Irish Rugby Football Union Joe Schmidt Leinster Rugby Mike McCarthy

Live: Title

Description

Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share

Next up in queue

Title
Description
Duration

There are currently no podcasts in the queue

Go to podcasts

On Air

OTB

OTB

Up next

OTB AM

OTB AM

07:45 AM-09:30 AM

Share

OTB AM Repeat

OTB AM Repeat

09:30 AM-12:00 PM

Share

The Hurling Show

The Hurling Show

12:00 PM-01:00 PM

Share

OTB Gold

OTB Gold

01:00 PM-02:00 PM

Share

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

02:00 PM-03:00 PM

Share

Golf Weekly

Golf Weekly

03:00 PM-04:00 PM

Share

Highlights on Off The Ball

Highlights on Off The Ball

04:00 PM-05:00 PM

Share

OTB

OTB

05:00 PM-06:00 PM

Share

OTB Gold

OTB Gold

06:00 PM-07:00 PM

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

07:00 PM-09:00 PM

Share

The Dadcast

The Dadcast

09:00 PM-10:00 PM

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on