Leinster back Ciarán Frawley has been earning plaudits for his performances for the province for a while now, and his display against Ulster at the weekend was no different.
Frawley made 35 metres from just four carries on Saturday night and was arguably Leinster’s brightest spark on an otherwise poor night for the reigning league champions, causing problems for an exceptional Ulster defensive line.
He’s not afraid to get stuck into a game either, with 10 tackles and a turnover win against Dan McFarland’s men in 80 minutes.
The 22-year-old is listed as a fly-half on the team’s website but has played almost exclusively at 12 in the last 15 months, with all starts since the 2019-20 Pro 14 final against Ulster being at inside centre.
Recently, he joined up with the Ireland squad for a week during their preparation for the November international window as a development player.
Backs coach Felipe Contepomi has no doubt in his mind that Frawley is on the right path after his growth in the last two years.
“I think he’s seeing it week in, week out training with us,” Contepomi noted. “It’s a great joy when he’s been called for Ireland, you know.
“And again, even being involved in that manner [as a development player], training with all those great players in that setup – it can only do him better, you know, and help him.”
The 22-year-old redhead has been trusted with five starts this season as the usual number 12 in the side, Robbie Henshaw, missed the start of the season through injury – against Ulster, the pair formed a midfield partnership for the first time this season as Henshaw donned number 13.
Frawley’s speed and distribution makes him a good fit for the inside centre role at Leinster, a spot where he’s enjoyed his best run of form.
Contepomi and co. trust him on the outside of the number 10 and the Argentine believes that Frawley can get even better.
“His growth has been huge in the last two years and he’s still a lot more to go, a long way to go.
“He’s enjoying his rugby and that’s the most important thing, you know, and hopefully he can play a lot for us in the coming weeks.”