Rugby

'He's Got All The Attributes Of A Great Backrower, We Feel He's Ready'

'He's Got All The Attributes Of A Great Backrower, We Feel He's Ready'

Andy Farrell said that Caelan Doris was not considered for selection for this Saturday's Six Nations game against Wales as he had already suffered a head knock this season.

The 21-year-old left the action just minutes into his international debut against Scotland on Saturday after being involved in a clash of heads.

"He's a young boy and I think we do the right thing by young kids and make sure they recover properly. He's in good spirits," said Farrell at a press conference on Tuesday following the announcement of the team to play Wales this weekend.

Dave Kilcoyne also suffered a head injury against Saturday but has been named on the bench to face Wales. Farrell said that the Munster prop is going through HIA protocols and that Jack McGrath is on standby should Kilcoyne be unable to play.

Doris is replaced at number eight by CJ Stander. The Munster man switches from blindside with Peter O'Mahony coming into the starting team. Max Deegan, who is set to make his international bow, takes place among the replacements.

"I think he's got all the attributes of a great backrower," Farrell said regarding the 23-year-old Deegan.

You go into the unknown a little bit with test match rugby but we feel he's ready.

His ball playing ability, his spacial awareness coming onto the ball and using his footwork and he's got nice, soft hands at the same time, he's got good leg drive in his carry, he's a great all round footballer.

We feel he's going to add a dimension, especially in attack when he comes off the bench.

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The consensus following Ireland's victory over Scotland called it an underwhelming performance but Farrell feels the Scots were not given the credit they deserved.

"I've not seen Scotland play like that for a long time," said Farrell.

"They were ferocious in all sorts of contact within the game. I haven't seen them throw themselves into contact like that in a long time. I thought the set piece was excellent. They'll be deeply disappointed because they threw everything at us in that game.

"We knew it was going to be ferocious. Why? Because they weren't happy with what happened in the World Cup. They went out a little bit earlier than us. Obviously, had a bit of upset during the week and had their backs against the walls."

Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

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PJ Browne
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