MCDONNELL – CONAN ALWAYS HAD A NOSE FOR THE BALL

Joe Schmidt had in 2016, handed debuts to about 18 players as Ireland pushed to make a rebound from a deflating Six Nations campaign, thus going on to record several victories over the big three of the southern hemisphere before the year came to an end.

Joe McDonnell, a veteran coach believes that Conan is made for bigger and better things.

"With Jack, on the pitch, he always seemed to be in the right place. Myself and Tony Ward both saw the talent in him straight away.

"He had a nose for the ball, so we brought him into the squad, even though he was only 16. That was quite a good side we had and they went on to win the league three years in a row," he said.