Ireland have enjoyed an excellent start to their Six Nations campaign, beating Scotland and Wales on successive Saturdays in Dublin during the opening weeks of the new Andy Farrell era.

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But how has each member of Farrell’s squad got on? Here, RugbyPass grades all 25 players used so far – 14 forwards and eleven backs – ahead of their down-week camp in Cork in preparation for their Triple Crown trip to England on February 23. 

PROPS (4)

Tadhg Furlong: A

Monster effort. Just look at enthusiasm to get up from a scrum penalty advantage to barge over the Welsh line two phases later. Also, some smashing energy in the tackle, especially late on versus the Scots.

MINS 144 TACKLES MADE/MISSED 28/4 CARRIES 16 METRES MADE 52 TURNOVERS WON/CONCEDED 0/1 PENS CONCEDED 2

Cian Healy: C-

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Overstayed his welcome versus Scotland due to injuries elsewhere and was then the tamest member of the pack versus Wales. Not the full-on Healy we know. Too many penalties conceded. 

MINS 117 TACKLES MADE/MISSED 16/2 CARRIES 7 METRES MADE 12 TURNOVERS WON/CONCEDED 0/1 PENS CONCEDED 3

(Continue reading below…)

The RugbyPod reflects on round two of the Guinness Six Nations 

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Dave Kilcoyne: C

Concussion caused Ireland headache against Scotland but his vitality was important seven days later. Offers different threat than Healy in the loose and has the potential to cause debate regarding the No1 jersey.  

MINS 31 TACKLES MADE/MISSED 10/2 CARRIES 2 METRES MADE 14 TURNOVERS WON/CONCEDED 0/0 PENS CONCEDED 0 

Andrew Porter: C-

Struggled when introduced off the round one bench but was more up to speed a week later.

MINS 28 TACKLES MADE/MISSED 4/1 CARRIES 5 METRES MADE 21 TURNOVERS WON/CONCEDED 0/0 PENS CONCEDED 0

HOOKERS (2)

Rob Herring: B

Fantastic he is making his name at Test level two months shy of his 30th birthday. Has repaid leap of faith by Farrell as Schmidt had Niall Scannell lined up as Rory Best’s more likely successor.  

MINS 138 TACKLES MADE/MISSED 21/2 CARRIES 13 METRES MADE 60 TURNOVERS WON/CONCEDED 0/1 PENS CONCEDED 1

Ronan Kelleher: C-

One to watch in the long run. Just two fleeting cameos so far off the bench for the newcomer, but he hasn’t let himself down adapting to new surroundings. 

MINS 22 TACKLES MADE/MISSED 7/0 CARRIES 2 METRES MADE 0 TURNOVERS WON/CONCEDED 0/0 PENS CONCEDED 0

SECOND ROWS (3)

James Ryan: A

Does his engine ever slow down? Incredible workrate on both sides of the ball and an incredible number of metres made carrying. Only work on is those turnovers conceded.

MINS 160 TACKLES MADE/MISSED 36/2 CARRIES 25 METRES MADE 104 TURNOVERS WON/CONCEDED 1/3 PENS CONCEDED 2

Iain Henderson: B

Some errors in the loose take the shine off what he invaluably offers in the tight. Provided the right type of niggle to undermine the Scots and was at it again against the Welsh.  

MINS 133 TACKLES MADE/MISSED 24/2 CARRIES 15 METRES MADE 46 TURNOVERS WON/CONCEDED 4/1 PENS CONCEDED 3

Devin Toner: C

Deserved the warm ovation he got when taking the field as a sub against Scotland. Was shabbily treated by Schmidt, but his presence in Farrell’s squad has helped some young Leinster forwards settle into Test level surroundings.  

MINS 27 TACKLES MADE/MISSED 8/0 CARRIES 1 METRES MADE 4 TURNOVERS WON/CONCEDED 0/1 PENS CONCEDED 0

BACK ROWS (5)

Josh van der Flier: B

Injuries and Sean O’Brien limited his previous Six Nations campaigns, but this can be his year. Pushed to the pin of the collar by the Scots but more accurate a week later.    

MINS 160 TACKLES MADE/MISSED 28/5 CARRIES 6 METRES MADE 30 TURNOVERS WON/CONCEDED 1/0 PENS CONCEDED 0

CJ Stander: A

Like a jumbo on a runway, he can be slow to take off but that hasn’t happened in this tournament. Exceptional so far, as if his initial selection at No6 and not No8 against Scotland fired him up to prove a point. 

MINS 159 TACKLES MADE/MISSED 30/2 CARRIES 26 METRES MADE 101 TURNOVERS WON/CONCEDED 5/0 PENS CONCEDED 3

Peter O’Mahony: A

A bear with the sore head after being dropped to the bench by Farrell to accommodate Doris, but got his break and hasn’t looked back in making his presence very much felt. Has even added some uncharacteristic carries to his game.

MINS 147 TACKLES MADE/MISSED 24/2 CARRIES 6 METRES 18 MADE TURNOVERS WON/CONCEDED 1/1 PENS CONCEDED 1

Caelan Doris: No Grade

A shame he was concussed just minutes into debut versus Scotland. With consensus suggesting Ireland’s back row needed a change in dynamic, he was primed to provide it and had won an excellent turnover.  

MINS 4 TACKLES MADE/MISSED 4/0 CARRIES 0 METRES MADE 0 TURNOVERS WON/CONCEDED 1/0 PENS CONCEDED 0

Max Deegan: C-

Another of the latest batch of taxis off the Leinster rank, his debut was brief last Saturday versus the Welsh. Needs more time to become better accustomed to the demands of Test level.  

MINS 9 TACKLES MADE/MISSED 1/1 CARRIES 0 METRES MADE 0 TURNOVERS WON/CONCEDED 0/0 PENS CONCEDED 1

SCRUM-HALVES (2)

Conor Murray: B

What’s that old saying – form is temporary and class is permanent. He personified this over successive Saturdays, highly raising his round two game and justifying Farrell’s faith in him.   

MINS 133 TACKLES MADE/MISSED 6/4 CARRIES 11 METRES MADE 34 TURNOVERS WON/CONCEDED 0/2 PENS CONCEDED 2

John Cooney: C-

Omitting Murray and starting Cooney was a step too far for Farrell’s new broom, which essentially has been starting the same Schmidt players and trying to use them differently. Must start versus Italy, though.  

MINS 27 TACKLES MADE/MISSED 11/0 CARRIES 1 METRES MADE 0 TURNOVERS WON/CONCEDED 0/0 PENS CONCEDED 0

OUT-HALVES (2)

Johnny Sexton: A

Captaincy has put rejuvenated life in old legs. Despite the doubts over his temperament, he has led the side excellently and mixed up his game far better than in a miserable 2019. 

MINS 143 TACKLES MADE/MISSED 19/3 CARRIES 16 METRES MADE 85 TURNOVERS WON/CONCEDED 0/2 PENS CONCEDED 0

Ross Byrne: C-

Makes it look easy when stepping in for Sexton at club level but catching the eye at this level is a tougher process and will take time. Next stop Twickenham, where he disasterously lost out on RWC selection last August. 

MINS 17 TACKLES MADE/MISSED 4/0 CARRIES 2 METRES MADE 14 TURNOVERS WON/CONCEDED 0/0 PENS CONCEDED 0

CENTRES (4)

Garry Ringrose: B-

What is it about the Ireland No13 shirt? Ever since Jared Payne started getting injured, it has been a revolving door due to bumps and bangs. Ringrose had some good moments, though, before finger injury versus Scots. 

MINS 40 TACKLES MADE/MISSED 3/1 CARRIES 7 METRES MADE 74 TURNOVERS WON/CONCEDED 0/1 PENS CONCEDED 0

Bundee Aki: B

Remains prone to missing tackles but his attitude has been excellent in helping Ireland go two from two. Massive ground gained in the carry.

MINS 160 TACKLES MADE/MISSED 21/4 CARRIES 25 METRES MADE 178 TURNOVERS WON/CONCEDED 1/1 PENS CONCEDED 0

Robbie Henshaw: B

Always felt he had more to offer in the less confined No13 role and he precisely illustrated this with a powerful first half against Wales before HIA ruined his day.  

MINS 84 TACKLES MADE/MISSED 5/1 CARRIES 12 METRES MADE 94 TURNOVERS WON/CONCEDED 0/0 PENS CONCEDED 0

Keith Earls: C 

Can’t be easy for him seeing Andrew Conway snaffle his No14 jersey, but he showed excellent versatility and pluck slotting in at outside centre as Henshaw’s replacement last Saturday.

MINS 36 TACKLES MADE/MISSED 3/1 CARRIES 1 METRES MADE 3 TURNOVERS WON/CONCEDED 0/0 PENS CONCEDED 0

WINGERS (2) 

Andrew Conway: B

It’s taken quite a while for him to reach this status but he is now in his prime and a must-have in the starting XV. An all-action player whose only work on is better shutting the defensive door.  

MINS 160 TACKLES MADE/MISSED 8/3 CARRIES 14 METRES MADE 120 TURNOVERS WON/CONCEDED 0/1 PENS CONCEDED 0

Jacob Stockdale: B-

Having made try-scoring his calling card – 14 tries in 17 appearances – he’s now just two tries in his last nine appearances. Still some defensive deficiencies but is finding new lease of life under Farrell.  

MINS 160 TACKLES MADE/MISSED 5/3 CARRIES 12 METRES MADE 175 TURNOVERS WON/CONCEDED 0/1 PENS CONCEDED 0 

FULL-BACK (1)

Jordan Larmour: A 

Can take the Ireland attack onto great things with his dancing feet now that he has the shirt and doesn’t have veteran Rob Kearney over his shoulder. The crackle in the Dublin crowd when he got on the ball was sizzling.    

MINS 160 TACKLES MADE/MISSED 2/0 CARRIES 30 METRES MADE 257 TURNOVERS WON/CONCEDED 1/2 PENS CONCEDED 1

WATCH: Andy Farrell and Johnny Sexton reflect on Ireland’s round two win over Wales 

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