Ireland’s back-row bruisers continue to flex their muscles as Dan Leavy and Jack Conan both crossed in Leinster’s comfortable Champions Cup victory over Bath.
Leavy was pitched into the 2017 Six Nations decider with England at the last minute and Rhys Ruddock’s knock in the 2018 Championship opener against France forced the flanker to the fore.
Assured performances against Italy, Wales and Scotland followed before a star turn in the final-round victory over England to secure a Grand Slam.
The 24-year-old has repeatedly proven himself at the highest level and his domestic form continues to slay the groundwork for a significant role in Ireland’s 2019 Guinness Six Nations campaign.
Leavy powered over the line under the posts for Leinster’s fifth try against Bath, a perfect platform partly laid by Conan.
The 26-year-old finished off a flowing move, shedding two tackles to surge over the whitewash and give the reigning Guinness PRO14 champions a perfect start at the Aviva Stadium.
With Leinster’s tight five against Bath all featuring heavily in their country’s Grand Slam win and outstanding autumn, confidence will be sky high when Guinness Six Nations rivalries are renewed next year.
And with Peter O’Mahony in superb November form, and Sean O’Brien still to return from injury, Joe Schmidt will have an embarrassment of back-row riches to call on for their Guinness Six Nations opener against England on 2 February.