Live

LIVE: OTB Weekend

02:00 PM-07:00 PM

LIVE: OTB Weekend
Advertisement

Sport

Harry Byrne is still lagging behind Ross Byrne in a critical area | Andy Dunne

Its not easy to choose between Ross and Harry Byrne if you're Leo Cullen. Andy Dunne breaks it down.



Former Connacht and Leinster out-half Andy Dunne joined Wednesday Night Rugby to discuss Harry Byrne.

Harry Byrne is in the spotlight for Leinster.

The young out-half is expected to start this weekend's Champions Cup game against Bath. It's not a difficult game. But it is a big game in the context of Byrne's career. The younger brother of Ross Byrne has barely played this season, and when he's played he hasn't excelled. Ross is likely the better player right now.

Still, the Leinster coaching staff see Harry's talent and potential. He is more likely to be the long-term Jonathan Sexton replacement than Ross is, so getting him time on the pitch now makes sense.

Harry is also very unlikely to play so poorly that Leinster lose this game. If he does, Ross can replace him off the bench earlier than anticipated. That is assuming that Harry does indeed start. Andy Dunne believes that Ross is still the better option for the team overall, but he also understands the appeal of Harry's talent.

The former Leinster out-half eloquently explained the differences between the two 10s.

"Harry is a player as a 10 who wants to show how good he is first," Dunne said.

"Ross is a 10 who wants to show how good everyone else is first. It's quite a marked difference as a 10. From personal experience when I was a young 10, I was in the Harry mode. I wanted to show everyone how good I was first...I don't think [Matt Williams] would have trusted me to be a game general at 21 years old and marshall a team really well. To make sure everyone else fell into phase and did what they needed to do.

"That wasn't how I played as a 10."

2 December 2006; Andy Dunne, Leinster. Magners League, Ulster v Leinster, Ravenhill Park, Belfast. Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE

The limitations that Harry has now as a game manager aren't indicative of his talent or who he will be. It's an experience issue. Dunne compared him to the young players that come through at Liverpool. They're all capable of doing world-class things, but Jurgen Klopp builds his team's success on doing simple things well.

Harry has time to develop his game management. He needs games such as this one to do so.

"A lot of young 10s are like that. It doesn't equate to their talent level. It equates with where is their actual game maturity and management. I think Ross has that in spades. He's incredibly good at making everyone else around him look excellent. He's understated and probably doesn't get enough praise for that in terms of how he runs seamlessly into a Leinster team when he doesn't always start.

"The interesting thing is if you sit back from it all, Ross will probably run the team better on Saturday but Harry has a bit more innate ability and talent.

"An example of it for Harry would be a very simple skill, how he receives a pass and then delivers it to someone else. He does it so skillfully, so silky. And it's a cut above a lot of people I've seen at the highest level. His ability to receive and pass while under pressure, but he tries a hell of a lot of things. He tries outrageous things. He tries skillful things.

"He's not so much the game manager that Ross is, certainly not yet."

Ronan Kelleher on Alun Wyn Jones

 

Team of Us. Everyone In.

Vodafone. The main sponsor of the Irish Rugby Team

Download the brand new OffTheBall App in the Play Store & App Store right now! We've got you covered!

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


Read more about

Andy Dunne Harry Byrne Leinster Ross Byrne