Andy Farrell – “A Dan Leavy That Is Firing On All Cylinders Will Put His Hand Up To Get In Any Side In The World”
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Fit and firing.
When head coach Andy Farrell named his 36-man Ireland squad for the Six Nations last week a few big names missed out – but there was one very notable omission that many hoped would make the squad.
Flanker Dan Leavy was one of Ireland’s best players before a devastating knee injury sidelined him for over a year but the 26-year-old has been back firing in recent weeks and looks to be heading back to his best.
A slight calf issue ruled him out of Leinster’s win against Munster, which was terrible timing as that game was played just two days before Farrell announced his squad, and was seen as a the last real big shop window for players to make Farrell’s Six Nations squad.
But the openside returned to the starting line-up for Leinster over the weekend, scoring a try and playing the full 80 minutes in a thumping 52-23 win for the Irish province. But it seems Farrell still thinks Leavy needs more time before he wears a green jersey again.
“The clear and obvious answer to that is – a Dan Leavy that is firing on all cylinders will put his hand up to get in any side in the world, wouldn’t he? Farrell said when we asked him about Leavy playing a role in the Six Nations this year.
“It’s a bit early for Dan obviously, with a couple of steps forward and maybe one back but he’s progressing nicely over a period of time.
“He was a long, long time off and it obviously takes time for guys with an injury of that magnitude to feel his way back in – which I’m sure Dan will do in the next period of time.”
Former Ireland and Leinster back-rower Jamie Heaslip reckons Leavy could very well play a role in the latter rounds of the championship but doesn’t expect to see him in the first couple given the current ‘bubble’ system that is in place due to the virus.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets a role in this Six Nations and I would like to see him get a role in this Six Nations,” Heaslip said on Episode 20 of the Up & Under Podcast.
“But I don’t know if we’re gonna see it in that first two weeks because you’ve got to understand all these players go into a bubble now. And they’re in that bubble pretty much until those first two games are done.