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Dublin: 4 °C Thursday 12 December, 2019
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'Tadhg is probably one of the best buys the club has ever had'

Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac was full of praise for Tadhg Beirne after another big performance at the RDS on Saturday.

Beirne was outstanding against Leinster on Saturday.
Beirne was outstanding against Leinster on Saturday.
Image: Byran Keane/INPHO

IT’S HARD TO remember a game when Tadhg Beirne wasn’t one of the standout players on the park, and on his return to the RDS on Saturday it didn’t take him long to get to work.

All of four minutes to be exact.

Beirne, the hybrid flanker/second row from Clongowes Wood, and Max Deegan met over a Leinster ruck and there was only going to be one winner. Turnover number 25 of the season, and he was only getting started. Four more followed before the day was out.

But to focus solely on Beirne’s ability around the breakdown — as freakishly impressive as it is — would do the rest of his game a great injustice. At one point during the first half, he stole possession for his side, kicked into space and showed his work-rate and hunger to chase and make the tackle. Not to mention his lineout work and powerful carrying ability.

Munster have signed one hell of a player.

“We’re very pleased to have him,” Scarlets head coach Wayne Pivac said afterwards. “Week in, week out he’s putting in performances like he did today.

“He’s been immense for the Scarlets this year and last year, probably one of the best buys the club has ever had.

“I think you’ll see him play for Ireland at some stage in the future and at the moment he lives and plays outside of Ireland and so I think come June, if his form continues, he may be rewarded.”

A shame he’s not in the Six Nations squad, but Australia in June is a certainty.

Nominated for the EPCR Player of the Year award, Beirne’s stock has risen immeasurably since he was released by Leinster in 2016 — and his promotion to Joe Schmidt’s squad will be thoroughly deserved.

Tadhg Beirne Source: Byran Keane/INPHO

For now, his focus remains on Scarlets, who left Dublin quietly satisfied with their lot having snatched a late losing bonus point while confident in the knowledge they can make up the ground when Leinster visit Parc y Scarlets in a fortnight.

Both sides will be missing their internationals for that round 17 clash again, and Pivac admitted on Saturday that organisers could do a better job of scheduling these bigger matches around the international windows.

“I’m just a little bit disappointed that we played Leinster twice in this window last year and then we’re playing them twice in this window this year,” he said.

“I would have thought that two of the teams from last year — who probably played some of the most attractive rugby and scored some of the best tries and were there at the end of the season don’t get to play at full-strength.

“Hopefully we’ll get the opportunity to do that at some stage in the season. It’s probably a bit disappointing, but we don’t control that

“I don’t think it’s very clever.”

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Ryan Bailey

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