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30th Nov 2020

“It’s something I have been pushing towards since I was very young” – Shane Daly

Patrick McCarry

Shane Daly

If you were looking for positives after that Ireland grind against Georgia, look no further than our 10th Test debutant of 2020.

Hopefully, in time, we’ll look back on Georgia as the beginning of a long number of years for Shane Daly in the Ireland squad.

The Munster back got on for the final 16 minutes of Ireland’s 23-10 win over Georgia and got his hands on the ball on a couple of occasions, over on the left wing. There was one chip and chase down that wing but Georgia scrambled and countered it well, and he could have had a debut try if Jacob Stockdale had held off 20% on his grubber kick into the corner.

However, such was the dog-fight that Ireland got dragged into, Daly did not get much of an opportunity to show what he can do, and what he has done in the past for Munster and the Ireland U20s.

Following the game, Daly was up for press duties but, with some journalists chatting to his teammates in the ‘print media’ briefing, he only faced two questions. It was a quiet introduction to life as a Test player, in more ways than one.

“Look,” he began, “making your debut is special, regardless of the game. It’s something I have been pushing towards since I was very young, so it’s massively for me, personally.

“As a game, the second half didn’t go the way we wanted to and we weren’t clinical enough in their main zones. There were a few more tries we let slip out there, and I think we could have put them away if we had stayed on top of our process.

“The game got a bit scrappy and there was a big stoppage in the middle (of the second half), which didn’t help in trying to get a flow going again. There were good things and we created chances but it’s just about taking them, which is similar to last week (against England).”

Shane Daly chips up the left wing on his Ireland debut. (Credit: Sportsfile)

Daly was asked for his take on Ireland’s on-field leaders and what was said during that second half when Georgia were putting it up to them at the scrum and breakdown, and shutting down their backline with ease.

“James Ryan would have captained me at 20s and I know how capable he is as captain. He’s a really good leader and even the way he plays can be inspiring, don’t mind the words that he can say, as well, on top of that. Then you have the likes of Pete O’Mahony and Iain Henderson, who are really good leaders. And you have younger lads, who lead by example on the pitch.”

Daly has shown much promise at outside centre, wing and, in particular, fullback in recent seasons and merited his taste of Test rugby. With Keith Earls suffering a back spasm, in the second half, there may be an opening for the Cork native to add to his debut cap against Scotland next weekend.

If the only positive to take from that Georgia win is that it is the start of a long international run for Daly, we’ll take it.



Season 3 has returned with Ian Madigan & Eimear Considine as hosts, and has already featured interviews with Brian O’Driscoll, Nigel Owens, Sean Cronin, Shane Williams, Mike Brown, CJ Stander, Ugo Monye, Sene Naoupu and more.


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