Star-studded Leinster will be too strong for Benetton - but this is a real opportunity for Ciaran Frawley

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Ciaran Frawley’s banal continues to soar successful the No 10 markets. Leo Cullen’s determination to prime him astatine out-half earlier helium departs for a fortnight with Emerging Ireland successful South Africa suggests that thing is afoot.

he Skerries native’s ears indispensable beryllium burning connected a regular ground astatine this stage. His sanction crops up connected each rugby podcast and vigor amusement and echoes done the pub-talk astir what happens erstwhile Johnny Sexton either retires oregon gets injured.

His brace of performances against the Maori past summertime suggested helium whitethorn beryllium poised to instrumentality a decisive measurement towards the presumption of back-up No 10.

Joey Carbery mightiness person thing to accidental astir that, but his antiaircraft contributions successful New Zealand lone undermined religion successful the Munster out-half.

At Leinster, helium seemed to beryllium down the Byrne brothers but present helium is starting alongside the large hitters, with Ross connected the seat and Harry successful the stand.

Both volition apt get a accidental to impressment portion Frawley is successful Bloemfontein with Emerging Ireland, but this is simply a existent opportunity.

Cullen astir ever raises a wizened eyebrow erstwhile this taxable of treatment is raised and helium stressed yesterday that Frawley has played astatine No 10 for Leinster before, but seldom has helium been down specified a formidable battalion with the first-choice centres, Robbie Henshaw and Garry Ringrose, extracurricular him.

It’s acceptable up for him to succeed, possibly making a constituent to David Nucifora, Andy Farrell and everyone astatine the IRFU that Frawley doesn’t request to spell to South Africa to get opportunity.

To which, they’d astir apt constituent to the information that this is the 2nd clip Frawley (24) has worn the Leinster No 10 garment since February 2020 – a play erstwhile he’s played 33 times for the province.

Caught successful the tug of emotion is simply a talented, ambitious young subordinate who indispensable beryllium relishing the opportunity.

“He has covered No 10 for america and played astatine 10 for america a fig of times before,” Cullen said.

“With Ross and Harry determination arsenic good it is conscionable competitive. They are 3 comparatively young guys but astatine antithetic stages, Ciaran played a batch initially astatine 10, moved to 12 and helium has been backmost and distant a bit.

“He had to person that enarthrosis surgery, played much astatine 12 than 10 past twelvemonth but helium is backmost playing 10 this twelvemonth truthful it is large to person that versatility.

“The likes of Dan Carter would person done that relation arsenic a 10 and 12 internationally and astatine nine level. He has had immoderate large games for Leinster already successful some positions.

“He is simply a precise bully player, Ciaran. He has got potential.”

The Italians travel to the RDS connected the backmost of a heartening opening play triumph astatine location to Glasgow Warriors and, nether Marco Bortolami, they look much susceptible of competing this season.

For their part, Leinster enactment successful a patchy show against Zebre Parma past play but the instrumentality of truthful galore large hitters should spot large improvements.

Although Jamison Gibson-Park, Johnny Sexton, Tadhg Furlong, James Lowe and the injured Hugo Keenan person yet to instrumentality from the squad that toured New Zealand, Cullen tin telephone connected 10 players from that squad arsenic good arsenic Jordan Larmour, who is backmost fit.

Dave Kearney, Luke McGrath, Michael Ala’alatoa and Jason Jenkins past from past week’s constrictive win, with South African Jenkins forming an intriguing concern with James Ryan successful the 2nd row, arsenic Ryan Baird lines retired connected the blindside of a almighty back-row.

There are fewer teams successful the tourney susceptible of surviving with that Leinster starting battalion if it hits the precocious notes, portion the beingness of Robbie Henshaw and tonight’s skipper Garry Ringrose volition springiness Frawley plentifulness of weapons.

Benetton volition beryllium competitory and volition purpose to marque beingness hard for the location broadside successful the carnal exchanges, but Leinster should beryllium excessively strong.

If Frawley tin deed the precocious notes past it’ll beryllium a bully nighttime each round.

Verdict: Leinster

LEINSTER – J O’Brien; J Larmour, G Ringrose (capt), R Henshaw, D Kearney; C Frawley, L McGrath; A Porter, D Sheehan, M Ala’alatoa; J Ryan, J Jenkins; R Baird, J van der Flier, C Doris. Reps: R Kelleher, E Byrne, C Healy, R Molony, W Connors, C Foley, R Byrne, C Ngatai

BENETTON – I Mendy; M Bellini, J Riera, M Zanon, O Ratave; G Da Re, S Hidalgo-Clyne; I Nemer, G Nicotera, S Ferrari; N Cannone, S Scrafton; G Pettinelli, M Lamaro (capt), T Halafihi. Reps: G Lucchesi, F Zani, F Alongi, C Wegner, H Time-Stowers, M Albanese, T Menoncello, R Tavuyara

Ref – J Peyper (SARU)

Leinster v Benetton, 7.35,

Live TG4/ Premier Sports

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