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Dublin: 2°C Friday 26 February 2021

'If Dublin lose games it won't be because of my absence'

Rory O’Carroll believes the Dubs won’t be affected by his move to New Zealand.

O'Carroll doesn't know when he'll return.
O'Carroll doesn't know when he'll return.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

NEW ZEALAND BOUND Rory O’Carroll insists Dublin have enough strength in depth to cope with his departure.

The fullback made himself unavailable for selection last month after deciding to move abroad with his girlfriend.

His decision to leave the set-up leaves Jim Gavin with a significant void to fill after O’Carroll had established himself in the backline over the last six years.

But the Kilmacud Crokes man is confident the All-Ireland champions will fare just fine without him as they look to defend the Sam Maguire in 2016.

“I think there’s plenty of strength in depth,” he said. “If or when Dublin lose games, it won’t be because of my absence.

“Even if you look at the last two games, they’ve had no issues, not only at full-back but in the full-back line.

“That’s with coming up against many different types of forwards, from the big tall forward to the small, nippy forward. I think Jonny [Cooper] and Mick [Fitzsimons] and Davey [Byrne] have done well so I wouldn’t foresee any issues there.”

Although he wouldn’t be drawn on who could replace him in the team, O’Carroll did speak highly of 21-year-old Byrne and emphasised his credentials for the job.

“I suppose I’d know Davey very well,” he continued. “We used to travel to training together. I think he’s a brilliant player and a great leader. He has done it at minor and U-21 and now he’s playing senior.

886230061 O'Carroll was speaking at the launch of the 'Adidas and Life Style Sports Boost Run’.

“So he has a great pedigree from coming up. He’s very fast and a great tighter marker. I don’t know if you saw the Sigerson but he was excellent in that, in the half-back line as well as the full-back line. He can be versatile as well so he’ll be there for a long time to come.”

Dublin have opened their Allianz League campaign with two victories and although he’ll be watching from afar, O’Carroll says he’ll be keeping an eye on how his former team-mates are progressing back home.

However, he’s not hugely enamored by the idea of setting the alarm for 3am to stream a championship game on the iPad.

“History would suggest that to do two-in-a-row won’t go in their favour – it hasn’t been done since 06-07, once since 1990.

“Given that stat, it does make it very hard to do two-in-a-row. It hasn’t been done over a long period of time. At the same time, they do have the capabilities and the talents to win more All-Irelands.

“I haven’t even thought about that. Jesus, will I get up? Ah, I don’t know! If I don’t watch it live, I’ll watch the highlights or something so I’ll follow it yet.”

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