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'Jack Carty is playing really well but this is an opportunity to find out about people'

Ireland head coach Andy Farrell has asked why they can’t ‘dare to dream’ about the 2023 World Cup.

Joey Carbery, Jack Carty, and Harry Byrne.
Joey Carbery, Jack Carty, and Harry Byrne.

IRELAND BOSS ANDY Farrell has praised the form of Connacht out-half Jack Carty but says he wanted to learn more about Joey Carbery and Harry Byrne in the intensity of the national team’s training camp.

Carty was omitted from the Ireland squad for the upcoming November Tests against Japan, New Zealand, and Argentina as Farrell instead called on Carbery and Byrne to provide out-half options along with captain Johnny Sexton.

22-year-old Byrne has only played 22 minutes for Leinster so far this season but has been involved in Ireland camp on several occasions under Farrell, making his Test debut against the US back in July.

25-year-old Carbery returned to the international fold for the July Tests against Japan and the US, having previously been sidelined through long-term injury.

Ulster’s Billy Burns and Leinster man Ross Byrne have also featured at out-half during the Farrell era but both were left out of this Ireland squad for the autumn.

The most recent of Carty’s 10 Test caps came at the 2019 World Cup and while he hasn’t played under Farrell yet, the Ireland head coach says he remains in contact with the 29-year-old Connacht man.

However, Farrell said he is keen to learn more about Carbery and Byrne in the Ireland environment, particularly given that their Lions contingent are back along with senior players Sexton, Keith Earls, and Cian Healy, who were rested for the July Tests.

“I have spoken to Jack many times and he is playing really well,” said Farrell. “His game has improved and he has embraced the challenge of captaincy. I think that has helped him and the way Connacht are playing, especially in attack, has helped him as well.

jack-carty Carty has been captaining Connacht in recent weeks. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

“His game management has always been his strength so he is playing well but this is an opportunity for us to find out about people as well in this window.

“I know everyone thinks that it’s all about selection and people playing [in Tests] but it’s not. It’s just being able to deal with the pressures.

“This is the first time that this group has been together since the Six Nations. Some of the guys, like Joey and Harry, were involved in the summer. This is a different feel. The big boys are back and there’s quite a few of them.

“The intensity that this delivers day in and day out is something that we need to find whether people can flourish in or not. You have to give people a chance.

“Selection isn’t always just about form. One guy plays well one week and maybe doesn’t play well the next. You have to use selection as a chance for people to grow as well within the environment.”

Sexton remains the main man at out-half, of course, and he is in line for his 100th Ireland cap against Japan in Dublin in two weekends’ time.

Farrell isn’t surprised that Sexton is still showing strong form at the age of 36.

“His love for the game, determination to keep improving, his drive is second to none – I can’t say enough about the bloke,” said Farrell.

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johnny-sexton Sexton is Ireland's main man at 10. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

“He’s a once-in-a-generation type of player and these players don’t tend to know what makes them tick that much. They just love being in it, they love trying to improve, they love driving the team to get better, they love performing on the big stage. He’s all of those things thrown into one.”

Sexton revealed this week that Ireland have discussed the 2023 World Cup in recent times, which is certainly earlier than has been the case before previous World Cups.

While Farrell stressed that Ireland will remain focused on the daily and weekly tasks required to perform, he said he wants his players to embrace the looming challenge in France in 2023.

“Why can’t we dare to dream? Why can’t we?” said Farrell. “I’m sure that there’s five or six or seven teams, it might be 10 teams that’ll be in the same position by the World Cup but why don’t we embrace the challenge and use that challenge to better our journey along the way?

“That’s the message to the players, so let’s get started on that.” 

- Originally published at 2:31pm

Bernard Jackman, Murray Kinsella, and Gavan Casey assess the provinces’ first URC blocks and look ahead to November for the Ireland men’s and women’s teams on The42 Rugby Weekly:

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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Murray Kinsella

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