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The Saturday Panel | RWC 2019 | Conan or Stander?

James Downey believes Jack Conan must be included in Joe Schmidt's Ireland World Cup squad.

Former Northampton centre Downey joined Nathan Murphy, Andy Dunne and Rory Keane on The Saturday Panel to look ahead to Ireland's Guinness Series World Cup warm-up fixtures.

The panel were all in agreement that Leinster's Conan offers something different than the rest of back-row options the Ireland coach has at his disposal.

Ireland do not have the numbers they once had available in the back-row position, with Sean O'Brien departure to London Irish and Daniel Leavy's horrific injury for Leinster that ruled him out of the October event.

Downey believes the Dubliner's for Leinster surpasses that of Munster Stander. He thinks the Leinster man is a better all-round option for Schmidt's options in the back-row.

He says teams may have figured out how to deal with Stander, and believes that's why the Munster player had a disappointing season with the province.

"I think so; I think so on form as well. CJ is one-off these players who, if he gets on top of you, when he carries - he's in the game and everything is going well. When he stops, he struggles."

The former centre thinks Conan's all-round ability as a player and match IQ makes his a more valuable asset for Ireland's World Cup campaign in Japan. He believes the Leinster player will make a huge impact in the Land of the Rising Sun.

"I think that Jack Conan has a little bit more to him. A bit more footwork to him, and a bit more nouse as well.  He's going to have a big World Cup," said the Belvedere man.

 

 

 

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CJ Stander Jack Conan James Downey Niall Mcgrath Rugby Rugby Union Rwc 2019 The Saturday Panel

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