Having had a very successful 2022, Ireland will head into the November internationals hoping to finish the year off in a strong fashion.
A good Six Nations campaign was followed with a historic series victory in New Zealand, with the side progressing nicely ahead of next year's World Cup. They will now want to cap off the calendar year with big performances against South Africa, Fiji, and Australia.
Andy Farrell recently named his squad for those fixtures, with six uncapped players included. However, there are a number of injury doubts, including scrum half Jamison Gibson-Park. Should he be unavailable, one of his teammates at provincial level has been backed to make the step up.
Luke McGrath backed for Ireland recall
Luke McGrath has earned 19 caps for Ireland up to this point in his career, although the last of those came back in 2019 during the World Cup quarter-final loss to New Zealand. He has yet to be given an opportunity since Andy Farrell's appointment as head coach.
This is despite the face he has continued to perform at a high level for Leinster. That was the case once again last night, with the 29-year old leading his province to a win over Munster.
🏉 TRY LEINSTER
The tide has turned in the match as Luke McGrath breaks off the back of the maul to dive over the line
📺 👉 https://t.co/b2OI4O7lx9
📱 👉 https://t.co/b0WmWg9xTJ
📻 👉 https://t.co/Od8FxntrpN pic.twitter.com/AasZGYw9Hh
— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) October 22, 2022
Some believe his form is deserving of an Ireland recall.
Speaking on RTÉ, both Donnacha O'Callaghan and Jamie Heaslip said that Luke McGrath had plenty to offer Ireland, especially if other scrum half options were unavailable.
O'Callaghan: They are the kind of guys you love to have in your team, the likes of Luke McGrath, the guys who set the standards.
There were Lions out there on Saturday night and we’re talking about him, and that’s when you’ve a good environment. Your club players step up every time and they become the conversation for green jerseys.
He deserves to be chatted about because he’s playing so well. Unfortunately for him, Gibson-Park is here as well. He has competition for places, which makes everyone really good...
Heaslip: He’s like Ross Molony in my book. He’s been unbelievably consistent since he came onto the scene. I know Joe [Schmidt] took a shining to him and he just didn’t get his break.
He’s a quality player and deserves a chance at international level again.
McGrath will be among the names considered by Andy Farrell should Jamison Gibson-Park fail to regain his fitness.
If Ireland opportunities are not forthcoming, he has the option of declaring for Canada in a few months due to World Rugby's change to the international eligibility rules. It would be a shame if he were no longer available to pull on the green jersey.