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Leinster believe Frawley can 'start knocking on the door' with Ireland

The 23-year-old is an intelligent presence at inside centre.

Frawley has settled at inside centre for Leinster.
Frawley has settled at inside centre for Leinster.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

LEINSTER SENIOR COACH Stuart Lancaster has backed 23-year-old midfielder Ciarán Frawley to push his way into Ireland contention if he can get a good run of games for the province.

Skerries man Frawley had some injury misfortune last season but was fully fit for Leinster’s win over the Bulls last weekend as they got their 2021/22 campaign up and running in style.

Frawley impressed at inside centre, where he has settled in recent times having previously played at out-half and fullback.

With Robbie Henshaw’s start to the season delayed after his Lions involvement during the summer, Frawley will be hoping for a run of games in the coming weeks in order to catch Ireland boss Andy Farrell’s eye.

“I’ve always been a fan of having two ballplayers in the backline as a minimum,” said Leinster coach Lancaster.

“Ideally, everyone would be a ballplayer; your number 15, your outside centre, but having someone like Ciarán in there definitely opens our game up because he’s played a lot at fly-half as well.

“He’s bigger and more athletic than people give him credit for, he has the robustness to defend that number 12 channel.

“Like Robbie [Henshaw], he can get us across the gainline. He’s got a hell of a boot and he adds value in the kicking game, he adds value with his distribution and with his communication and organisation outside of the first receiver, so he takes pressure off.

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“He’s growing in confidence, he’s been a bit unlucky with injury the second half of last season. I’ve constantly spoken to him about players I coached during my time with England like Billy Twelvetrees and Kyle Eastmond - Ciarán would be right up there on the same level as them.

“I’m hopeful that if he gets a good run this season, he’ll start knocking on the door for the national team as well.

“It’s taking windows when they’re there. With Robbie not available for the time being, he’s got a chance now. I thought he took it well at the weekend.”

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Murray Kinsella

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