Rugby

"Team might benefit more" - Liam Toland on Conan's Ireland status

Raf Diallo
Raf Diallo

07:38 29 May 2019


On Monday, Brian O'Driscoll highlighted the immense improvement made by Leinster's Jack Conan.

So much so that he may be rivaling Ireland's incumbent No 8 CJ Stander for a Rugby World Cup starting spot.

Keith Wood and Liam Toland joined us on Wednesday Night Rugby and shared their views on that and other talking points like Joe Schmidt's training squad selection.

Toland believes Conan's style offers another dimension based off his Pro14 final performance.

"In terms of general footballing sense, Jack Conan showed in the final that he can really dig into the trenches," he said.

Creates Opportunities

"And there were a number of beautiful subtle off-loads that he made as well. There were a number of kick-offs that he caught with heavy traffic coming his way. Then he just pops it off to the blindside winger. He has the same ability around the back-row of a scrum and Leinster's scrum didn't dominate, certainly in the outer edges of the game.

"But he has the ability to get those off-loads away. He creates opportunities for others and what's been very impressive in the last few weeks with Conan is he's able to mix it up physically as well.

"I think personally, having watched him, the team might benefit more. But it depends on what Joe Schmidt wants to do in terms of his tactics.

"But if you're looking for a guy to give opportunities to others, then Jack Conan certainly is it. He definitely proved he can live in the trenches as well. So a really big two weeks, for me, for Conan."

You can watch the full Pro14 final review and Ireland chat with Keith and Liam above. The lads also discussed the challenges of life after rugby for players.

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Keith Wood Leinster Liam Toland Off The Ball Rugby

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