Ronan O'Gara believes there are still areas of his game on which Joey Carbery can improve but that he also has the ability to become a Beauden Barrett level player.
"The great thing about him now is playing consistently, he's trusting his instincts," said O'Gara on Virgin Media Sport's coverage of the Guinness Six Nations.
"I got slagged off 12 months ago for comparing him to Beauden Barrett but I genuinely see that star ability in him. He's 23-years-of-age, imagine what he's going to be like in three years' time if he continues his progress."
Carbery played 56 minutes in Saturday's win against Scotland after Johnny Sexton was forced to leave the game due to a head injury. Following a shaky start, one which saw him throw a pass which was intercepted and led to a Scotland try, Carbery came good, producing the game's best moment with a break which created a try for Keith Earls.
"His capacity to just process that decision-making and make it just look easy for Earlsy," said O'Gara.
The ball was nearly going in slow motion in the air. He was kind of going, 'There you go Earlsy, touch that down for me.'
The great thing about him is he never seeks the safety or the comfort of the ground like some people do. In open spaces, he gets really excited.
Was he formed in New Zealand? He has all the signs there; you can see that he's most comfortable with ball in hand. It's the kicking that he probably needs to work on a little bit.
You can watch O'Gara speaking on Virgin Media Sport below.
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) February 9, 2019
Picture credit: Sportsfile