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'Doris is like Heaslip, but more skilful' | Brian O'Driscoll on Leinster man

Joseph Conroy
Joseph Conroy

17:34 29 Jan 2020

Brian O'Driscoll believes that Caelan Doris is ready for international rugby and likened his game to that of Jamie Heaslip.

O'Driscoll spoke to Wednesday Night Rugby about Ireland's starting line-up against Scotland this Saturday, for the first game in Andy Farrell's reign as head coach.

O'Driscoll spoke about how he first came across Doris; a player who he believes is ahead of those in his age range.

"I first heard his name a couple of years ago when I spoke to Stuart Lancaster. He said that 'this guy is very exciting.'

"This was when there was the emergence of Dan Leavy, Jack Conan and Josh van der Flier - they were properly breaking onto the scene and making a big impact.

"He said that there was another clatter of them coming through, mentioning Max Deegan in the same way. He said that Caelan Doris was going to be a special player."

Brian O'Driscoll on Caelan Doris

O'Driscoll also believes that Doris' maturity separates him from others in his age range.

"It doesn't shock me from what I have seen in his performances and from what I have heard, that he has been drafted into the national team. He looks as if he is international ready," said O'Driscoll.

"People are questioning why him over Max Deegan. I feel as though you can see a know-how in Caelan Doris of just mopping up work to make other people look good.

"There is a Jamie Heaslip aspect to it, but I think he is an even more skilful player than Jamie Heaslip.

"Jamie was a very, very smart footballer who made those around him really thrive.

"Doing the simple things well, having a very low error count. I can see all of those aspects in Doris' game, but he has the ball-carrying and the offloading.

"He just appears to be a little more mature than those around him of his vintage.

"It doesn't surprise me that he is in there. I think that he is ready based on what we have seen on of him at Leinster this year."

O'Driscoll's positive comments will add to an exciting week for Doris, as Andy Farrell spoke of the Leinster man's excitement at being selected at number 8 for his country.

"Caelan is super-excited, and Ronan is coming back from injury, but he’s been back in and done absolutely everything with us so far in this camp. He’s looking very solid as well," said Farrell.

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