Cork brothers Niall and Rory Scannell have been making waves this season, with both men regularly on the starting line-up for Munster. It’s questionable, then, as to why these two key players in Munster’s recent successes have not made the recently announced Irish line-up.
Both brothers have proven massively influential in Munster’s recent 14-15 win over Ulster in Kingspan Stadium, Belfast on Friday 28th of October. Rory played a seminal role, deservingly receiving O’Gara comparisons for his last minute drop goal which clinched the win the for the Munster side, whilst his brother Niall continued his consistent performance in the number 2 (Hooker) jersey.
Niall’s work ethic and consistency in his role is offset by Rory’s versatility on the field, whether he is under the 10, 12, 13 or 15 position, Rory Scannell has shown a proven capacity in all positions. It’s worth noting that Rory has yet to miss a tackle this season or break the game line, and his distribution on the field can only be regarded as commendable towards Munster’s playmaking, though these qualities shouldn’t come as a surprise, as he was given Munster’s Young Player of the Year award, as well as Academy Player of the Year, earlier in May 2016.
Rory Scannell has been receiving a lot of praise for his recent performances, but Niall’s solid playing and fresh approach to the hooker position under coach Jacques Nienaber has not been forgotten either. A few days ago Ronan O’Gara tweeted, “Munster are back big time…massive performance. The 2 Scannell’s have massive futures.” I think it can be safely said that it is only a waiting game until we see these two brothers walk onto the pitch in green jerseys.
Full Ireland squad for New Zealand Test in Soldier Field, Chicago on 5th November:
Rory Best (C) (Ulster), Sean Cronin (Leinster), James Tracy (Leinster), Finlay Bealham (Connacht), Tadhg Furlong (Leinster), Cian Healy (Leinster), Jack McGrath (Leinster), John Ryan (Munster), Ultan Dillane (Connacht), Iain Henderson (Ulster), Billy Holland (Munster), Donnacha Ryan (Munster), Devin Toner (Leinster), Jordi Murphy (Leinster), Seán O’Brien (Leinster), Peter O’Mahony (Munster), CJ Stander (Munster), Josh van der Flier (Leinster), Jamie Heaslip (Leinster), Kieran Marmion (Connacht), Luke McGrath (Leinster), Conor Murray (Munster), Joey Carbery (Leinster), Paddy Jackson (Ulster), Jonathan Sexton (Leinster), Robbie Henshaw (Leinster), Luke Marshall (Ulster), Jared Payne (Ulster), Garry Ringrose (Leinster), Keith Earls (Munster), Craig Gilroy (Ulster), Andrew Trimble (Ulster), Simon Zebo (Munster), Rob Kearney (Leinster). Coach: Joe Schmidt.