Warren Gatland Confirms His Exciting Lions Plans For Ireland & Munster’s Tadhg Beirne

Point of difference.

When Munster and Ireland forward Tadhg Beirne was named in Warren Gatland’s British and Irish Lions squad after an impressive campaign for both Munster and Ireland – the big question on everyone’s mind was what position would he be utilised at?

Beirne is equally comfortable in both the second-row and the back-row. Munster and Ireland have utilised his versatility to great effect, but for many people – Beirne shines best in the back-row where he can really get stuck in at the breakdown.

A very special British & Irish Lions House of Rugby show – fronted by Sean O'Brien and Alex Goode – is available now and will run for the duration of the tour. Follow and subscribe to it HERE

When you look at most people’s predicted Test XV, Beirne at six is what everyone wants. And it appears we’ve got our wish, with Gatland naming Beirne at six this weekend against Japan. That also looks likely to continue when the Lions get to South Africa.

Speaking following yesterday’s team announcement, Gatland said he spoke to Beirne about his incredible turnover rate with both agreeing that the back-row is where he belongs.

“Yeah, look, he has been very, very good,” Gatland told us.

“We are probably at this stage looking at him as a back-rower.

“We know he can cover the second-row but I spoke to him the other day about, ‘What’s your point of difference?’ And he knew straight away what his point of difference is.

“His point of difference is his ability at the breakdown and turnovers and the amount of turnovers that he creates in a game is pretty special.

“We’re looking for players to think about what their points of difference is. For Tadhg, that definitely is a big part of his game: the amount of turnovers he is able to create.

“Those sorts of things can change a game and you need players like that to be able to have an impact in a match. He is able to do that and hopefully on the weekend he gets a chance to demonstrate some of those abilities that he has.”

There’s no doubt Beirne will be heavily involved at the breakdown this weekend and prove that he can make a real impact at six.