Six Nations: John Cooney can come again ‘larger and stronger’ – Farrell
Eire head coach Andy Farrell has challenged scrum-half John Cooney to come back again “larger and stronger”.
Cooney was pushing Conor Murray for a beginning berth earlier than lockdown however was omitted from Eire’s newest squad.
Farrell, whose aspect are getting ready for Six Nations matches with Italy and France, insists he has not closed the door on Cooney or fellow scrum-half Luke McGrath.
“I do not take any pleasure in any respect from not selecting them,” mentioned Farrell.
Cooney got here off the bench in every of Eire’s three Six Nations matches earlier this 12 months however has seemingly paid the value for his inconsistent post-lockdown type, which led to him being dropped for Ulster’s Pro14 closing defeat by Leinster.
The recalled Kieran Marmion and uncapped Jamison Gibson-Park have been most popular as competitors for first-choice scrum-half Murray.
“I would not say it is a new route – I believe John Cooney is a superb participant. I believe Luke McGrath is a superb participant as nicely and Luke’s missed out,” mentioned Farrell.
“I do know that they’re determined to play for his or her nation and rightly so. However you have to make the decision, what’s good for the crew.
“We have a look at all kinds of issues relating to choice, clearly type, angle, what the final seven months has regarded like, how they’ve come again.
“My job is to pick a crew that is going to maintain everybody on their toes as a result of competitors for locations has acquired to be one of many key components going ahead for this crew.
“Some persons are going to lose out however I hope that galvanises them and I hope that they arrive again larger and stronger and provides us a number of complications alongside the best way.”
Eire ‘determined’ to placed on good present
Eire sit fourth within the desk however solely 4 factors off joint-leaders England and France and with a sport in hand over their title rivals.
They host Italy in a behind-closed-doors match on October 24 in Dublin earlier than finishing their marketing campaign in Paris every week later.
Farrell’s males have been among the many first groups to be affected by the coronavirus pandemic when their preliminary sport with Italy, scheduled for 7 March, was postponed on 26 February.
The pinnacle coach mentioned his gamers have been “brimming” with enthusiasm for the return of worldwide rugby and hopes to offer your complete nation a raise.
“We have waited a very long time for worldwide rugby to come back again and I suppose it is a good tonic for the entire nation to have the ability to watch the game at worldwide stage come again on the screens,” Farrell mentioned.
“We’re determined to placed on exhibiting for the individuals of Eire.”