Former Ireland international Gavin Duffy believes Andy Farrell can inject energy and belief into periphery players in all four provinces by picking the men in form to for his fist game as Ireland head coach.
Farrell names his 15 to face Scotland at the Aviva Stadium in the Six Nations opener later today, with the usual speculation about which new faces - if any - will get their shot.
He named five uncapped players in his squad, with Leinster trio Max Deegan, Caelan Doris and Rónan Kelleher pushing particularly hard for inclusion.
John Cooney's immense form means Conor Murray will be anxiously looking over his shoulder, and Duffy says that Farrell can keep everyone on their toes with a change-up.
"More often than often I would have been on the periphery, hoping an injury might have gotten me in, or a new coach might look more favourably on me," the ten-times capped Galway man told RTÉ Radio 1's Morning Ireland.
"You want to see the head coach picking guys in form, even if that's not necessarily you. The guys you think are on form and that everybody is talking about across Ireland, like John Cooney, Caelin Doris, Max Deegan, guys then recognise that across all the four provinces.
"If other guys see them getting picked, then they'll pick up their game and have a bit of belief as well.
"If you look at the six teams, France have 20 uncapped players, England have eight, Scotland have six, Wales have five, Ireland have five as well. You'd have thought there'd be wholesale changes given the form over the last 12 months.
"If you look at our uncapped players... they could really light it up for Ireland.
"These are the guys we're looking to most in terms of bringing a freshness. It is conceivable that up to 12 players that started the last Six Nations could start again this weekend. So it's going to be down to the dynamic and fresh energy Andy Farrell has been able to instil in a short space of time."
One change Duffy does not see happening is Cooney coming in for Murray.
There's a bit of a clamour to see the Ulster scrum-half get the nod, but Duffy thinks Murray will get another chance.
"On form Cooney does start. Andy Farrell will want to put out that that marker, that if you play well, you deserve to start.
"However Conor Murray has shown enough in the last few weeks to show he;s coming back on form. Under a new attack structure and a new attack style with Mike Catt, he might give him another roll of the dice and say, 'Conor, it's a new opportunity, I want to see you move the ball a bit quicker, have you got the capability to do it?'.
"I think he might give him the nod to start with Johnny Sexton in the back line."
What will Andy Farrell's first Ireland XV look like? @daireobrien15 discusses team selection with @TheRealEddieOS and @bernardjackman #rterugby pic.twitter.com/2L48uAkidD— RTÉ Rugby (@RTErugby) January 27, 2020
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