Ireland Receive Massive Six Nations Boost

This could be huge.

Jared Payne makes his long-awaited return this weekend after recovering from a kidney injury that has seen him miss the opening rounds of the Six Nations.

The Ulster star has been branded the ‘defensive leader’ of the Irish team, and while Gary Ringrose has come in and done well, Payne’s absence has been felt, particularly against stronger opposition as was seen against the Scots.

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Schmidt is a huge fan of Payne and it’s easy to see why. While he doesn’t offer the same spark, and attacking prowess that Ringrose offers, his experience in the back-line could be crucial heading into the final rounds against Wales and England.

Payne is probably one of Ireland’s most underrated players, with his return coming at a perfect time as they approach the business end of the Six Nations.