Munster star Jack Crowley is being backed by his teammates to continue his impressive rise in form and stature in the game.
Crowley has been red hot since the Emerging Ireland trip to South Africa and earned his first Test cap against Fiji, only to start a week later against the Wallabies in Dublin.
The fly-half has been in sublime form for Munster in Joey Carbery’s absence, and many at the club see the young star as a future leader in their ranks.
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“He’s been unreal this year; that Emerging Ireland trip was just unbelievable for him,” full-back Shane Daly told the Irish Independent.
“The way he was able to step up into a leadership role, he’s been able to bring that to Munster as well.
“So, it’s not just the stuff you’re seeing on the pitch, he’s speaking up in meetings and giving his thoughts.
“His confidence levels have gone up and up since that tour, and he’s been backing it up week-on-week, it’s been great to see a fella like that really step up. His cap was well deserved, we were delighted to see it.”
Crowley may get another go at Test level during this Six Nations with skipper Johnny Sexton in a race against time to get fit for the tournament.
Munster forwards coach Andi Kyriacou reiterated Crowley’s leadership value and is enjoying seeing the star play confidently.
“He’s very much enjoying it, he’s definitely one of the guys we’re looking at as a future leader, and we’ve got to help him,” Kyriacou said.
“He’s still a young man; he needs to keep growing and learning how to lead.
“He’s very well-liked and respected within the group, and you see around the way he’s playing, he is full of confidence at the moment so yeah, he’s doing great, and he’ll keep developing.
“He’s such a young lad at the moment and it’s important for us as coaches and other senior players around the group to keep helping him out.”
Munster welcome the Lions to Ireland this week in the United Rugby Championship and will be looking to add another win to their tally after a dramatic victory against Ulster last time out.
Kyriacou praised number eight Gavin Coombes, who was sublime on the night, making a whopping 24 carries against Ulster.
“Gav is a massively important player for us, he’s been incredibly mature in how he has handled things and has had good feedback from the national coaches and is working hard on his game,” Kyriacou said.
“He’s not boxed that off at all, he has got massive aspirations to be back up the road in camp so we’ve just got him concentrated on his performances and his game, how to add value within the team system and he’s doing that.
“His physicality is incredible, and he gives us massive go-forward (ball), and he has worked so hard on his set-piece. He’s made great strides in the last few weeks.”