Every so often, Joe Schmidt tends to give an update on some youngsters in Irish Rugby that he's been keeping an extra eye on for the future.
They usually aren't the Garry Ringrose's or the Stuart McCloskey's that the public and media are already clamouring for. In the Six Nations it was Munster's Jack O'Donoghue and Leinster's Peter Dooley who were singled out by Schmidt. The pair are both talented - but face a logjam at their positions in their province and for the national side; but it's interesting to see the Irish head coach looking out for this talent.
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Thursday's press conference gave Schmidt a chance to single out one player that he was impressed with this season - Munster's Johnny Holland.
The 24-year-old outhalf leapfrogged Ian Keatley in the pecking order towards the end of the season, and oversaw some of the province's best games. He displayed a calm control that belied his inexperience and youth, and it seems that Schmidt was impressed enough to contact the player:
I’ve had a really good conversation with Johnny. I think Johnny was a little bit fatigued at the end of the season. He kind of came in through that massive pressure period.
Johnny is a guy we have certainly kept an eye on, and the thing with Johnny is, he’s not a really young kid either, he’s mid-20s. He’s just had a very bad run of injuries so one of the things we didn’t want to do was take a fatigued player at any rate.
I think he’ll really benefit now from a full pre-season and then a full build-up into next season to put his best foot forward.
That's got to be exciting for Munster Rugby and Ireland. If Holland can be the answer to their outhalf needs for the coming years, it will strengthen the southern province, and by extension give Ireland that much more options.
Let's hope that Erasmus can help mould Holland with his innovative ways.
Meanwhile, Schmidt did reveal a glimpse of his thinking about who would replace Rob Kearney in the starting team. Schmidt was adamant that Jared Payne would be needed to defend the 13 channel, but almost narrowed down the options to Robbie Henshaw and Tiernan O'Halloran for the fullback role.
Luke Marshall and Stuart Olding would be the considerations to replace Henshaw at inside centre should the Leinster back move to 15:
Some of those decisions we will make during training, seeing who is most comfortable in either position. And then there is Tiernan who really spiked at the end of the season. His confidence is high, he is in good form and he comes into the equation as well.
Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE