"Rory Scannell has been exceptional. He could make a brilliant 10" 2 weeks ago

"Rory Scannell has been exceptional. He could make a brilliant 10"

On Saturday, at Thomond Park, Munster went with a 6/2 split on their bench and did not have a specialist outhalf in reserve.

Racing 92 pushed Racing to the brink but they were unable to deliver the killer dunt. JJ Hanrahan did an awful lot right to get Munster back level but his missed drop goal, with seconds to spare, saw an unlikely victory slip through his side's fingers.

Johann Van Graan had (the now departed) Alby Mathewson on the bench while Dan Goggin the only other back. Tyler Bleyendaal was left out of the match-day 23. The back-up outhalf should Hanrahan pull up, was Rory Scannell.

The Cork native has been used an awful lot more as a kicking option from his inside centre role. For many Munster plays, Scannell acts as outhalf and his kicks through and over the opposition defence, and to touch, have been excellent.

When selecting an 'In-form Irish XV of the season', so far, on the latest episode of Baz & Andrew's House of Rugby, Barry Murphy made a big call, and claim about Scannell.

Murphy and Andrew Trimble were tasked with selecting an in-form Ireland XV based on all games so far this season except for the national team. That gave several Ireland internationals just two or three games to stake a claim, but many of them have returned from Japan in decent form.

With World Cup winner Felix Jones in the studio, and acting as judge, Trimble went for five Leinster stars, including one young prospect with only a few games to his name this season and a winger not qualified to line out for Ireland until next November.

"Scott Penny at blindside," he said. "Now, I know that he hasn't played very much but we're a big fan of him. He shows enough potential and try-scoring pedigree... and I've gone with James Lowe on the left wing."

Andrew Trimble's form Irish XV

1. Jeremy Loughman (Munster)
2. Ronan Kelleher (Leinster)
3. Marty Moore (Ulster)
4. James Ryan (Leinster)
5. Ultan Dillane (Connacht)
6. Scott Penny (Leinster)
7. Nick Timoney (Ulster)
8. Max Deegan (Leinster)

9. John Cooney (Ulster)
10. Conor Fitzgerald (Connacht)
11. James Lowe (Leinster)
12. Rory Scannell (Munster)
13. Garry Ringrose (Leinster)
14. Rob Lyttle (Ulster)
15. Andrew Conway (Munster)

Murphy's 'Form XV' has the exact same front five as Trimble and has also included Deegan, Cooney and Ringrose, while he has Andrew Conway on the right wing and Will Addison at full back. For No.10, the former Munster and Ireland centre has gone with a left-field call.

"I've gone with Scannell at 10, because I think he's been playing like a 10 for the last few weeks and I think he's been exceptional. He could make a brilliant 10."

Barry Murphy's form Irish XV

1. Jeremy Loughman (Munster)
2. Ronan Kelleher (Leinster)
3. Marty Moore (Ulster)
4. James Ryan (Leinster)
5. Ultan Dillane (Connacht)
6. Rhys Ruddock (Leinster)
7. Josh van der Flier (Ulster)
8. Max Deegan (Leinster)

9. John Cooney (Ulster)
10. Rory Scannell (Munster)
11. Keith Earls (Munster)
12. Stuart McCloskey (Ulster)
13. Garry Ringrose (Leinster)
14. Andrew Conway (Munster)
15. Will Addison (Ulster)

When it came down to it, Springboks' coach Jones went with Trimble's selection as he has also been encouraged by the pieces of Conor Fitzgerald's games, this season, that he has caught.


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Barry Murphy, Andrew Trimble and Jerry Flannery look back on all the Champions Cup action and are joined in the House of Rugby studio by Springboks coach Felix Jones.