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'It would be a really interesting attack ploy' | O'Gara on Carbery playing #12

Kenneth Fox
Kenneth Fox

11:10 15 Aug 2019

Joey Carbery is one of Ireland's best attacking talents but there's still uncertainty about what his best position is. Ronan O'Gara thinks playing him at inside centre would not be a bad idea.

Speaking on Thursday's OTB AM, the La Rochelle coach said utilising him at 12 would open up Ireland's attacking options.

“Would I start him there I don’t know, I think with the quality of centres we have in Ireland and with the way modern defences are.

“I would be a massive fan of him there from the 50th to the 80th minute with tiring defences, he just has something that very few people have.

“Coupled with Johnny’s [Sexton] passing game I think it would be a really, really interesting attack ploy," O'Gara said.

In general, he thinks that no matter where he plays he has a huge impact on the team.

“I think he’s just an exciting footballer you look at that try he set up for [Keith] Earls against Scotland, very few people in the world can do that.

Creating opportunities 

“You know that’s him in a seven-second spurt, the power to burst through two forwards, his capacity to keep his balance, to scan on the run and pick out a pass and execute a pass.

“Joey has the capacity to step and offload and to create opportunities for other guys but I think so does Bundee Aki, so does Ringrose so does Henshaw, so does Farell.

"I think their skillset is underappreciated by a lot of people," the La Rochelle coach said.

Carbery has been deployed at full-back for Ireland in the past to great effect, but O'Gara was wary of picking him there because of the defensive responsibility of the position.

"It's a different mindset, you build your team from the back and with someone like Rob Kearney there.

"When you're on the pitch with him and you know someone breaks through the line there's a nine out of 10 chance he'll make that tackle.

"That adds a lot of value to players, there's nothing worse in a tight game when there is a one on one and your 15 doesn't make it. It just kills the team spirit," he said.

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Inside Centre Ireland Joey Carbery Ronan O'Gara Rugby World Cup

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