Gavin Cummiskey: "Leinster have a bit of a problem there once everyone gets fit"

The province's back-row options continue to grow

Gavin Cummiskey: "Leinster have a bit of a problem there once everyone gets fit"

Ireland's Dan Leavy and Jack Conan after the game. Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Ireland dominated Japan on Saturday with a host of young players shining on Ireland's summer tour.

Joe Schmidt's side beat their hosts 50-22 despite a number of players currently away on Lions duty.

However, Gavin Cummiskey of the Irish Times believes a number of younger players have put their hands up for starting places next season at both national and provincial level. 

Speaking on Saturday's Off the Ball, he said: "After what I've seen from Jack Conan and a few other guys, the pecking order in Leinster I think might change next season. Leavy was ferocious. Josh Van Der Flier - they didn't even use him this time because they wanted to give Jack O'Donoghue a go off the bench. 

"It looks like the time is ticking on for these guys and they've just had enough. Garry Ringrose and Conan...they're bigger men than they were six months ago.

"They really are the new generation of players and their physicality is going to start putting real pressure on the likes of Jamie Heaslip et al when they get fit."

Japan's Ryohei Yamanaka and Michael Leitch with Jack Conan of Ireland. Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Looking ahead to next season, he said: "Conan and Leavy, I just don't see how you leave these men off any team, never mind Leinster, I mean Ireland, going forward.

"Sean O'Brien will come back, we all saw Sean O'Brien this morning again as well and he looks like one of the best open-side flankers in the world still. But how many games has he played for Leinster in the last few years? It has reinforced the back-row options that Leinster have.

Ireland's Dan Leavy scores the second try of the game. Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

"It's outstanding, it's comparable to any club in the world. Conan was just fantastic today, just so powerful. Leavy, if you get to see it, the way he just ran onto Earls' breaks for his tries and his damage at the breakdown is just a constant menace. 

"If everyone is fit and healthy, Rhys Ruddock, you have to mention him as well, Van Der Flier, Jordi Murphy has to come back - Leinster have a bit of a problem there once everyone gets fit next season," he added.