RTÉ rugby analyst Eddie O’Sullivan believes that Joey Carbery may have to leave Leinster if he’s to get playing experience in the fly-half position.
Carbery started at number 10 for Ireland in their 23-20 victory over Fiji on Saturday and impressed in the role before suffering a second-half injury.
The Leinster utility back was handed a rare run-out as Jonathan Sexton was rested, and was in visible pain following a particularly big hit from Peni Ravai.
It was later confirmed that Carbery suffered a broken wrist, which required surgery and is expected to rule him out of action for the next six weeks, but of a more long-term concern is his lack of playing time at number 10.
Carbery is emerging as one of Ireland’s brightest prospects for the future but is behind Sexton in the pecking order for both Leinster and Ireland.
Speaking on RTÉ’s Against the Head, O’Sullivan made the point that Carbery is not getting enough experience at fly-half and that should Sexton pick up an injury, he’d have little time to adjust to starting for his country at 10.
"It’s fairly unlikely that in the current set-up he’s going to get enough rugby at 10 before the next World Cup to give him the chance to play at the level he needs to play at.
"If anything were to happen to Johnny Sexton and he hasn’t that experience under his belt of managing a game under huge pressure and it comes unstuck, we’ll all be giving out about it.
"That has to be fixed somehow and it’s not an easy solution.
No-one wants to say it, but maybe he needs a season outside of Leinster at the 10 position in Ireland, if he’s going to make that big step.
"Nobody wants to talk about that yet."
Former Ireland head coach O’Sullivan stopped short of suggesting a possible destination for Carbery however.
"I wouldn’t suggest anywhere because I’d only get shot for it, but the point of the mater is, it’s the only real solution if he wants to get week in, week out rugby at 10.
"It’s not going to be at Leinster because the number 10 for Ireland is in Leinster. He’ll pick up a handful of games but that is a dilemma.
"I think the solution has to be worked out elsewhere."