How many of Leo's Cubs could roar into Ireland's Six Nations squad?

Gavin Cummiskey and Johne Murphy speak to Off The Ball about Leinster's young guns

Leinster, garry Ringrose, Bath

Leinster’s Garry Ringrose ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

As Leinster enjoy an upturn in form, a clutch of young players with the working title of "Leo's Cubs" are starting to make their mark for the province.

From centre Garry Ringrose to the likes of Luke McGrath, Peter Dooley and Ross Molony have shone in recent weeks, including the Champions Cup victory over Bath at the weekend.

It presents Leinster head coach Leo Cullen with a selection headache going forward but their form also gives Ireland coach Joe Schmidt something to think about between the short and long-term.

With Ireland's Six Nations squad soon to be named, The Irish Times' Gavin Cummiskey and former Munster and Emerging Ireland back Johne Murphy joined us on Off The Ball to assess the development of a potentially exciting crop of players. 

"From what I've seen, Josh van der Flier will play for Ireland. When I've seen Garry Ringrose, he'll play for Ireland and both of them potentially are an injury or two from playing in the Six Nations," said Cummiskey.

"Their form has been consistently excellent every time they've got a chance. Josh van der Flier just looks better and better and the great thing about him is every time he plays well, Sean O'Brien comes onto the pitch or plays a week later and goes up to another level."

And while Cummiskey has no worries about Ringrose's talents mixing it with the very best, he did raise question marks about the physical side if he were to face a baptism of fire in the Six Nations.

"Ringrose, I watched again this morning and his talent is serious. Not so much just his running, he naturally glides over the ground. It's his rugby brain and defence. The only thing is he's gone into contacts, not even the big contacts -  Matt Banahan absolutely destroyed him when he put Nacewa away with a really impressive break - but their other tackles where he's getting hurt and looked in serious pain."