Andy Farrell included five uncapped players in his Ireland squad for the 2020 Six Nations with Ulster’s Billy Burns and Tom O’Toole and the Leinster trio Max Deegan, Caelan Doris and Ronan Kelleher all getting a call-up.
The coaching group also named four development players in Ryan Baird, Robert Baloucoune, Harry Byrne and Will Connors in the squad who will train with the squad at the warm weather camp in Portugal and in the lead up to the opening game against Scotland.
Billy Burns, Tom O'Toole, Robert Baloucoune, Max Deegan and Caelan Doris were all in action in Saturday's Champions Cup action on Saturday as Ulster and Leinster claimed victories over Bath and Benetton respectively.
All five players stepped and proved why they had received call ups with Baloucoune putting a further claim to a full call up.
There will be some concern for O'Toole who could play just 26 minutes before he left the field with an injury. The front-rower was busy making 9 tackles.
O'Toole's fellow Ulsterman Billy Burns and Robert Baloucoune starred in the victory. Burns so much that he was named man of the match.
Burns scored 3 points but his the variation of his game was brilliant. He kicked 8 times, made over 40 running metres and beat two defenders.
Baloucoune made 81 running metres, scored a try and beat 3 defenders in an excellent game.
Another standout from Ulster was the performance of Will Addison who produced this superb assist for Baloucoune and had Twitter a blaze in the victory.
Will Addison’s 42 minutes v Bath 😳— Ultimate Rugby (@ultimaterugby) January 18, 2020
🔟 Carries 👊
9️⃣8️⃣ Running metres ☄️
2️⃣ Defenders beaten 💥
3️⃣ Offloads 👌
2️⃣ Clean breaks ⚡️
1️⃣ Try 🏉
1️⃣ Brilliant try assist 🔥
The other uncapped players for Leinster also impressed. Max Deegan was aggressive at blindside making 39 running metres from 4 carries and got stuck into the rucks.
Doris was just as brilliant making 13 tackles, a turnover and scored a try in the 0-18 win in Italy.