Stephen Ferris believes John Cooney's form could simply be too good for Ireland head coach Andy Farrell to ignore once the Six Nations kicks off in February.

Cooney was supreme in Ulster's 38-17 defeat of Munster last Friday night, scoring 18 points - a try, all five conversions and a penalty - as Dan McFarland's side ran up another bonus-point victory.

The scrum-half overshadowed opponent Conor Murray, the current incumbent of the Irish No 9 shirt, and Ferris says there's a strong argument to be made over who gets the nod against Scotland in the Aviva Stadium opener. 

"Conor hasn't played a lot of rugby," Ferris told RTÉ 2fm's Game On.

"He's got so much quality. On Friday night in Belfast his box-kicking was better, he does have other attributes that are good, but at the minute how can you look past the main man John Cooney?

"He really is playing out of his skin. It's not just one out of every three games he's playing well - it's consistent, every single week.

"Reputation might keep Conor in there for a but Cooney is certainly going to get more opportunities under Andy Farrell. It wouldn't surprise me if Andy says, 'you know what, I'm going to pick players that are in form'.

"If he does do that, he has to pick John Cooney."

Munster were lacklustre at Kingspan Stadium. They were completely out-fought, with Ferris airing his disappointment at their performance.

"If you take out the first ten, 15 minutes of the game I thought they were extremely poor. Hopefully they come good but I think they're in a bit of a transitional period.

"There's new patterns being put on the table and it's going to take a while for everybody to buy into it.

"Munster is a team that over he last 15, 20 years prided themselves on structure. At the minute I'm not really sure what they're dong. They couldn't break Ulster down at all."