There’s Something Incredible About This Ireland Team We All Keep Forgetting About
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Ireland are Grand Slam champions for the first time in nearly a decade, after an incredible performance against England at Twickenham yesterday afternoon.
Joe Schmidt’s men left the best until last, pumping out arguably their performance of the Championship, in a 24-15 win against their old rivals. First-half tries from Garry Ringrose, CJ Stander and Jacob Stockdale proved to be enough, as Ireland celebrated a third championship in five years under Joe Schmidt.
But what has largely gone under the radar is just how young this current crop of players is. 11 of yesterday’s matchday 23 yesterday were 26-years-old or younger, with seven of them 23 or younger.
Leinster prodigy Jordan Larmour is still only 20, while record-breaker Jacob Stockdale is just 21, as is James Ryan. Tighthead prop Andrew Porter is just 22, as is Joey Carbery, while Dan Leavy and Garry Ringrose are both just 23.
“They are growing, they are getting better, they’re understanding more” Joe Schmidt said after yesterday’s game when asked about his current squad.
“But there is still a long way to go for some of those players.”
“Even Jacob (Stockdale) he’s still a kid. I think people because he’s played every game and he’s done incredibly well and he’s growing and learning. People probably take for granted he actually hasn’t had that much rugby at this level.
“Or even provincial level for that matter.”
To think most of the players in the current squad are yet to reach their full potential is frightening. It may be a great time for Irish rugby, but we could be in for even better times over the next few years as these lads peak.
Ireland’s young guns.
Jordan Larmour – 20
Jacob Stockdale – 21
James Ryan – 21
Andrew Porter – 22
Joey Carbery – 22
Dan Leavy – 23
Garry Ringrose – 23
Tadhg Furlong – 25
Iain Henderson – 26
Jordi Murphy – 26
Kieran Marmion – 26