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Ferris Full Of Praise For Cormac Izuchukwu And Believes He Should Be On Ireland Radar

Ferris Full Of Praise For Cormac Izuchukwu And Believes He Should Be On Ireland Radar
Finn Duffy
By Finn Duffy Updated
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Ulster are set to travel to the Aviva Stadium on Saturday to take on Leinster in the quarter-final of the United Rugby Championship playoffs.

The province have finished the season in fine form, with their only loss in their last five URC coming to table topping Munster in a 29-24 losing bonus point defeat in Thomond Park.

That stretch of five games also saw Ulster beat Leinster for the second time this season in a 23-21 win at Kingspan Ravenhill, a result that Richie Murphy's side will be looking to replicate in Lansdowne Road.

Among the players that have impressed this season for the Ulster men is flanker Cormac Izuchukwu. The 24-year-old has made 13 appearances in the URC this campaign and is set to start against the Boys in Blue.


Balls.ie spoke with legendary Ulster and Ireland flanker and Ladbrokes Ambassador Stephen Ferris in the build up to the weekends URC action, where he described Izuchukwu's recent form as 'class' and gave his thought the recent comparisons made between him and Izuchukwu.

READ HERE: Simon Zebo Suggests His Ireland Career May Have Come In The Wrong Era

READ HERE: South Africa Star Keen To Get Revenge This Summer After Irish Media 'Disrespect'

Ferris on Cormac Izuchukwu: 'Get Him In There'

Cormac Izuchukwu

18 May 2024; Cormac Izuchukwu, left, and Harry Sheridan of Ulster celebrate after the United Rugby Championship match between Ulster and Leinster at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

On the topic of Izuchukwu, Ferris laments on the flanker's athleticism while also identifying Izuchukwu's quietness on the pitch as the most accurate comparison to himself in his playing days and praising his recent performance against Munster and Peter O'Mahony.

He's very abrasive, obviously quite fast, a good acceleration, punches hard in defence, a really good line out option.

And he looks like he kind of like quiet on the pitch, though does all this talking about his actions, which is probably a big comparison to myself.

I didn't really raise my voice at all on the pitch and he's played against some half decent opposition over the last couple of months and, you know, no more so than Peter O'Mahony at the weekend.

And granted I get it, like it's not the be all and end all game last weekend for Peter O'Mahony because Munster have already qualified.

Yes, they want to try and get the win but, he always gets himself up for the biggest games, the crunch games, man of the match against the All Blacks, man on a match against certain teams in big, big, big games. But Cormac had his number all day like.

He's a much better athlete in terms of what he gives you with the ball in hand going forward and that's something that Ulster really lacked.

Ferris then stated that he believes that Izuchukwu should be in consideration for the Ireland squad for their upcoming test series against the world champion Springboks in South Africa if he continues his stellar form.


Cormac Izuchukwu, if he has another really strong game this weekend against good opposition in Caelan Doris, Jack Conan, (Josh) van der Flier, (Ryan) Baird, whoever it may be. And he goes brilliantly, he goes really well. Then he has to be in the conversation for Ireland.

None of this here 'he has to earn his stripes, he has to, he has to go and play more Heineken Cup or Champions Cup games next season and then he has to make the next step and go and play for maybe couple Ireland 'A' game, maybe the odd autumn international against lesser opposition, stuff like that.'

That's nonsense, get him in there.

Ferris also stated that he feel young players like Izuchukwu and his teammate Dave McCann should be playing as many games as possible at this stage in their careers to continue their development.

And this is something like which annoyed me about Dan McFarland which was he seen Cormick Izuchukwu or Dave McCann when he first came on to the scene for like two games.

And then it was like, you know, he went into the wilderness and sometimes it was like their sort of resting policy and like, you know, give other guys opportunity, you're training well and everything else.

But if a player has something about him and he's showing week in and week out that he's capable at that level and he's one of the best players on the pitch every time the whistle goes and then keep playing him.

As a young player, You want to play every week, you don't want to play two games, three games have a week off, go to Dubai for a week, then come back again, play another two weeks, then have another two weeks off and play Champions Cup.

That's alright if you're Tadgh Furlong and you've got 70 or 80 caps to your name and you've been in two British and Irish Lions tours and you've all experienced that you want, that's fair enough.

But as a young guy, like Cormac Izuchukwu, Dave McCann, even Ryan Baird, in my personal opinion, he needs to be playing every week. He needs to be high match minutes and to gain that experience.

Leinster v Ulster will be broadcast live on RTÉ2, RTÉ Player, and Premier Sports One with kick-off scheduled for 5pm.

SEE ALSO: South Africa Star Wonders If Andy Farrell's Englishness Is A Hindrance For Ireland

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