Rugby

Leinster Unhappy With Timing Of Schmidt Visit For Chat About Carbery And Byrne

Leinster Unhappy With Timing Of Schmidt Visit For Chat About Carbery And Byrne

Paddy Jackson's time at Ulster over, the IRFU have reportedly begun the process of lining up a new out-half in Belfast.

Peter O'Reilly of The Sunday Times reports that Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt and IRFU performance director David Nucifora visited Leinster last weekend to speak with Leo Cullen regarding both Joey Carbery and Ross Byrne.

It's said that Cullen was told he needs to make and choice - and quickly - regarding who will remain at the RDS and who will make the move to Ravenhill.

Leinster are said to have been unhappy that the conversation was started during the week of the Champions Cup semi-final against Scarlets. A decision on the matter was postponed as a result.

If one of Byrne and Carbery does make the switch, it would ensure some badly needed game time at out-half for Carbery. Though he is Ireland's backup ten, it has not been the case with his club. In Sexton's absence, it has been Byrne who usually pulls on the number ten shirt with Carbery often lining out at fullback.

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This season has seen Ulster play with a mix of Christian Lealiifano and Johnny McPhillips at out-half. The Australian Lealiifano joined on a five-month loan deal at the start of the season.

There were talks of All Black World Cup winner Stephen Donald joining to bridge the gap between January and the end of the season but an injury ended that prospect. Former Ireland U20 McPhillips has since taken up the reins.

The move North for Byrne or Carbery would not see them lonely as the only former Leinster players in the Ulster squad. Jordi Murphy is Belfast-bound at the end of the season, as is Marty Moore via Wasps. Ireland international John Cooney is also first choice scrum-half at Ulster.

See Also: Player Ratings As Leinster Blow Scarlets Away At Lansdowne Road

PJ Browne
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