Leinster have produced some brilliant players in recent years, but few have more potential than Caelan Doris.
The 23-year old is a phenomenal talent, one that is capable of bossing games despite his relative lack of experience. There are few players better in that position in world rugby at the moment, if any.
Speaking on Channel 4 before the clash with Bath, Jamie Heaslip made no bones about his love and admiration for the Leinster man.
🗣️ "If I was to pick a world 15 right now, he would be in my back row."
High praise for Caelan Doris. 🙌#C4Rugby | #HeinekenChampionsCup pic.twitter.com/Ac2NYW301W
— Channel 4 Sport (@C4Sport) January 22, 2022
I do have a slight man crush on him and the reason being is that if I was to pick a world XV right now, he would be in my backrow.
I think he is one of the most balanced backrow players not just in the Northern Hemisphere but in the world, on both sides of the ball.
Attacking, he’s got really good footwork, it gets him out of trouble. It gets him in a position to offload, and he’s got a great passing game in general. That footwork keeps his feet underneath him, gives him good leg drive, gets him over the gain line.
On the other side of the ball he’s aggressive in the tackle, gets his technique right, and he never really makes a system error. So I’m looking forward to seeing him out on that field and continuing the form he had from the November series.”
As arguably Ireland’s greatest ever no. 8, Heaslip’s praise for Doris is significant.
That form in November lead to a man of the match performance against the All Blacks, and the award for player of the Autumn Series, among all nations.
Heaslip also saved some praise and insight for Leinster’s no. 8 Jack Conan.
Sport’s a funny one. You kind of have to put the work in and wait for your time and wait for you opportunity. And when Jack got it he took it with both hands.
His USP is his strength I think, and his speed. His acceleration is unbelievable, it’s actually quite deceptive..
I’ve seen him throw a lot of tin around in the gym. His fend, his bump, it gives him space to throw the offload, or actually accelerate away from you.