Dave Kilcoyne should be 6 Nations back-up to Cian Healy. INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

Dave has that 'killer' instinct as Penney tips off Lions

The Munster coach feels Warren Gatland would be well served by bringing Kilcoyne to Australia.

LOST AMID THE euphoria of a five-try victory over Racing Metro on Sunday was the bold claims made by Munster coach Rob Penney about Dave Kilcoyne.

As the young loosehead prop was singing in celebration with his teammates in the Munster dressing room, Penney was talking him onto a British & Irish Lions emblazoned plane to Australia.

Penney declared, “The message should go to [Warren Gatland] that if he needs someone play on top of the ground in Australia later on in the year, he should look closely at the two Irish loose-heads, with more reference to ‘Killer’.

“His scrummaging is fine and with a little more maturity, he’s going to be class. He’s got the potential to do some special things with his robustness in the carry and his round-the-field play.

“It’s a bit unique for a front-rower. He’s also a bit like a back-row and his nickname sums him up.”

Killer’s a hound

The Limerick native turned 24 in December and has yet to play 20 senior games for Munster but, like Keith Earls and Conor Murray before him [in recent years], early advancement up the ranks would not be a surprise.

Kilcoyne looks to have gotten the jump on Tom Court but is determined to make the most of his first official Ireland ‘A’ game.

“For everyone involved in the squad,” he told, “we’re looking at it as a huge opportunity.

If you look back on the Autumn internationals and how well the team did against Fiji, people were given opportunities against Argentina and they performed really well.”

A start and strong showing against a Saxons front row including hardened Englishmen such as Nick Wood and Paul Doran Jones should cement his place as Cian Healy’s Six Nations back-up.

“Any time you’re given the opportunity in the green jersey you have to do it justice, especially against England,” said Kilcoyne.

“It’s the derby match and we’d treat it with the same level of importance as a Six Nations game.”

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