Keith Wood urges Andy Farrell to include “rare talent” in Ireland squad for Six Nations


Ireland legend Keith Wood has called for head coach Andy Farrell to make one particular inclusion when he names his Six Nations squad later this month.

Farrell will be looking to defend the Six Nations crown having led Ireland to a Grand Slam last year with victory over England in the final round, but he will have to do it without his captain Johnny Sexton who retired following the Rugby World Cup in France.

Munster’s Jack Crowley is expected to fill Sexton’s boots at 10, with a decision yet to be made at captain. And Woods reckons Farrell should seriously consider including Leinster’s 20-year-old out-half Sam Prendergast as one of Crowley’s deputies.

Prendergast has impressed at senior level with Leinster, after making his debut in the URC last season, but is yet to be capped at senior level for Ireland.

“He’s a fairly rare talent. I do think that he has a lot of rough edges, (but) I would definitely want to see him in the Six Nations squad,” Wood told the Off The Ball podcast.

“The extended squad definitely. He needs to see how much further up he has to go and he needs that door open for him.

“It isn’t that he hasn’t earned it, it’s that he has the talent to go through it, if it is open for him.

“Why would we wait another year, year-and-a-half? I’m not a fan of that. If he’s robust enough and strong enough to be able to deal with it, I think he offers something different, and I like that.”

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