Joe Schmidt has already called up the likes of Josh van der Flier and Ultan Dillane and he has revealed there are a few more young Irish players he’s keeping close tabs on.
Gary Ringrose was perhaps unlucky to miss out according to a lot of people but Schmidt believes the 21-year-old’s progress would be better aided by getting game time in the Pro12 rather than making up the numbers is the Irish training camp.
Speaking to Newstalk, Schmidt also named Munster’s Jack O’Donoghue as one of the young, up and coming talents who has impressed him this season.
For us, we have to have an eye for the future and we are certainly watching a couple of young players, a couple that I probably name publicly.
There’s a young man, Jack O’Donoghue, who’s playing in Munster, who’s really acquitted himself well first season in the top level and he’s showing fantastic resilience as well. Garry Ringrose at Leinster has acquitted himself really well, so of course we’re keeping an eye on those guys. I’ve chatted to both of them. Josh van der Flier, who’s come in from Leinster, another young guy who wouldn’t have been seen on the international scene. There’s those sort of guys and Ultan Dillane, who’s another guy who’s an exciting prospect for us. Those guys, we’re building them for the future.
Leinster prop Peter Dooley also received a mention from the Ireland boss.
I watched those U-20s play against New Zealand in that 3rd-4th place play-off and Peter Dooley is another guy who really, really impressed us, so those guys are starting to work their way through the system