Alan Quinlan was on Monday’s OTB AM and felt that Jordan Larmour should start in Ireland’s quarter-final clash against the All Blacks.
The 22-year-old was electric against Samoa at the weekend and was awarded the player of the match award.
While Larmour is obviously not as experienced as the incumbent Rob Kearney, Quinlan felt his attacking prowess is enough to earn him a place in the starting XV.
“I just think he gives you such an attacking threat. I wouldn’t be surprised and I wouldn’t have a problem with Rob Kearney starting because I’m a massive fan of Rob Kearney and I think he’s a big-game player.
“But I just don’t think it’s a big call to leave someone with that attacking ability out of it. I think Jordan Larmour has grown in confidence. He’s stronger, he’s more physical.
“But then again, if he’s going to start they’re going to kick it a lot to Jordan Larmour. I could be wrong but on the basis of what we’ve seen, I’d start Larmour,” Quinlan said.
Beirne or O'Mahony in the back-row?
The decision at fullback is not the only tough decision for Schmidt to make during the week, with Tadhg Beirne also pushing for a place in the starting team over his club captain, Peter O’Mahony.
“It’s probably down to the minute details of, ‘Do you go for the safer structured, experienced approach? Or do you start with a little less experience and a little more flair?’
“Tadhg Beirne probably brings more carrying ability in the back-row. But then Peter O’Mahony has his ability at the breakdown and the lineout, as well as his overall leadership there.
“So they’re all 50/50 calls I think but the bench is going to be vital,” Quinlan commented.
Ireland take on New Zealand on Saturday, October 19th at the Tokyo Stadium in an attempt to make the semi-finals for the first time ever.
The All Blacks do go into the game as favourites but Joe Schmidt’s side will be buoyed by their recent record against the world champions, having beaten them twice in their last three meetings.