Sam Prendergast celebrating with Leinster team-mates last week. Ben Brady/INPHO
Rugby Weekly

'It’s probably better if one of them goes temporarily to Connacht' - Leinster's dilemma

Bernard Jackman reflected on the weekend’s inter-pro derbies and discussed Leinster’s depth at out-half on Tuesday’s Rugby Weekly Extra podcast.

QUESTION CONTINUE TO linger about the future of Sam Prendergast despite a strong performance in Leinster’s 33-7 victory over Connacht in the RDS on Friday night.

Between Prendergast, Ciarán Frawley and the Byrne brothers, there are only so many minutes available at number 10 for Leinster’s wide range of options.

Former Leinster star Bernard Jackman believes that one of Leinster’s out-halves should take the opportunity to make a loan move to Connacht’s Dexcom Stadium:

“I’m not fussed about who leaves but I think this time next year we’ll still be wondering about one of them at least, and maybe two of them, if they all stay in the same place,” Jackman told Murray Kinsella on Tuesday’s Rugby Weekly Extra podcast.

“From an Irish Rugby point of view, ‘it’s probably better if one of them goes temporarily to Connacht.

“If David Humphreys does one thing this summer, it’s potentially that, to actually get one of those tens to go to Connacht for a year and let’s see how good they are.”

Jackman also waxed lyrical about Ulster second row Cormac Izuchukwu on the latest edition of Rugby Weekly Extra, whilst also noting that he is just one of a plethora of outstanding talents currently available to the Irish provinces in that position.

“It’s just great to see him play every week now and wow, he’s exciting!

“There’s two lads [Izuchukwu & Thomas Ahern] who are going to be going at it for the next seven or eight years.

“We now have four of those athletic line-out options… highly skilful sixes… Ryan Baird obviously at Leinster and Cian Prendergast at Connacht. I think that that athletic six which Cormac and Thomas Ahern can be, they’re the ones that coaches are looking at saying ‘in the modern game they are the key men’.

“Ulster for so long haven’t really had that, Stephen Ferris was probably the last one, who was dominant physically and Izuchukwu looks like he has that ability.”

In other United Rugby Championship news, the competition’s quarter-final matchups await us next weekend. Holders Munster welcome Ospreys to Thomond Park on Friday night, while Leinster will have an opportunity to exact revenge on Ulster following their inter-pro derby encounter in May.

Elsewhere, The Bulls will host Benetton, with Glasgow Warriors’ tie with The Stormers rounding up the four games.

With these four quarter-finals now set in stone, Jackman offered listeners with an insight into how he feels the final stages of the competition may pan out:

‘I think Munster, Glasgow, Leinster and The Bulls [will win]. Leinster will then have to go to The Bulls. That will be a big test for them, the first time their front-liners will have to go down there. Then if they win, they’ve got to come back and get ready for what I think will be Thomond Park.

“I think it’s going to be a Leinster/Munster final in Thomond, and that would be class!”

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