Stephen Ferris has backed Munster back-row Gavin Coombes to feature for Ireland in the Six Nations after his return to form.
Coombes was crucial for Munster in their vital win over Northampton in the Champions Cup on Saturday. After Northampton threw everything at Munster, Gavin Coombes was among the Munster players to dig deep at vital moments to see his side to victory.
Since being left out of the Ireland squad for the November internationals, Coombes has let his performances on the pitch to the talking.
His huge carries that made fans and pundits take notice have been crucial to Munster's attack, while Saturday's win over Northampton showed his expertise at the breakdown and maul, with his steal late on winning the game for Munster.
Gavin Coombes Backed For Ireland Recall
While he has been in Ireland squads in the past, Coombes hasn't been given the opportunity to express himself on the biggest stage for his country.
However, speaking on the build-up in partnership with Ladbrokes, Stephen Ferris believes Gavin Coombes could be a vital asset for Ireland, both in the Six Nations and the World Cup.
With Ireland's squad for the Six Nations set to be released tomorrow, Ferris is confident the 25-year-old will be included.
He got left out of a couple of squads for Ireland, there was a lot of talk about him. I think it was 18 months ago he got sick leading into the Six Nations, there was chat he was going to sneak in ahead of Peter O'Mahony and Jack Conan was very much in the mix as well.
This is how quickly it can change in professional rugby, and he's been brilliant. People are saying he's the same mould as CJ Stander, I don't think he is. I think CJ Stander was a bit more explosive going into the carry, he was just dead straight, give me the ball and I'll run straight through people and give you those extra couple of yards.
Whereas Coombes pops up at the right places at the right time. The pick and go's that Munster have, they have a strategy where a couple of props come in and clear the ball carrier out, and Coombes is on that second carry or that third carry.
When you are playing against a huge, big, French physical juggernaut in a World Cup quarter-final, or a New Zealand team that's going to bring it, to have somebody like him on the bench with that bit of muscle and a bit of power.
We all that about scrum and line-out, it's not just the front row that needs to be counted, it's an eight man gig. There could very well be a place for him. I think he could have a really strong Six Nations if he's selected."
While there is huge competition in this Ireland side, particularly in the back-row, but Gavin Coombes form could be too impressive to ignore.