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'Ross Byrne must kick on and replicate excellent Leinster form with Ireland' | Alan Quinlan

Ross Byrne stepped up with a hugely impressive performance for Leinster against Exeter following ...



'Ross Byrne must kick on and r...
Rugby

'Ross Byrne must kick on and replicate excellent Leinster form with Ireland' | Alan Quinlan

Ross Byrne stepped up with a hugely impressive performance for Leinster against Exeter following an injury to Johnny Sexton and Alan Quinlan believes he now must replicate this form for Ireland.

Quinlan joined Monday's OTBAM and praised Byrne for his ability to come into the game cold and have such an impressive showing.

When Byrne gets his next opportunity for Ireland he must seize it with both hands, according to Quinlan.

Byrne did [play very well for Leinster] but he has got to do it for Ireland," Quinlan said.

"That is how he stops that talk [about his difficulties at international level] you know.

"I think he has shown on numerous occasions that he is talented enough.

"Byrne has the quality but there is a difference [between club and international rugby] with respect to anyone that would make the argument that he should be starting for Ireland when Sexton is not there."

Byrne has struggled for Ireland at times, however, Quinlan feels that it has not always been entirely his fault for those performances. There have been mitigating circumstances that should be taken into account.

Leinster players Johnny Sexton and Ross Byrne 1 Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

"Byrne has had a few opportunities. The easiest thing to do is to blame the fly-half when the whole team is not functioning and a couple of those games were against England who were on song at the time," Quinlan said.

"He just needs to believe in himself and kick on and hopefully he will get more chances with Ireland and he can do just that."

Could Andy Farrell adapt Ireland's game to suit Byrne? Quinlan highlighted the differences between how Leinster and the national team operate.

If Farrell can make slight tweaks to Ireland's style and adopt some of Leinster's tactics it might suit Byrne moving forward. Ireland may then see Byrne become a dependable option in the future.

Leinster and Ireland player Ross Byrne Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

"Leinster play a lot differently. It is down to the coaching and the game plan. The way Leinster play seems to give Byrne a lot of confidence and belief.

"Even though he is behind Sexton when he comes on for Leinster he does not let them down," Quinlan said.

"He kicks his penalties, he kicks conversions from the touchline and he makes good decisions. It was all good front football. Byrne may not get the same space and time at international level.

"Can he do it? Of course, he can but he has got to kick on now and really believe in himself.

"In a game like that on Saturday, coming off the bench and performing as he did will do his confidence the world of good."

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Andy Farrell Exeter Heineken Champions Cup IRFU Ireland Johnny Sexton Leinster Ross Byrne