One of the key concerns for Ireland from the last Autumn Nations Cup campaign were issues at the set-piece, particularly at line-out time.
Once an area of strength, some structural issues emerged during the campaign in November and from last week's appointment of former Ireland and Munster second row Paul O'Connell to the Irish coaching staff as a forwards coach, it is clear head coach Andy Farrell sees it is an area to focus on with the 2021 Six Nations just around the corner.
Speaking on the RTÉ Rugby Podcast, Donal Lenihan stated his belief that O'Connell's expertise will not just be beneficial collectively but also for particular individuals like James Ryan.
"I think it will be a huge plus for him to have somebody like O'Connell to pick his brain," he said.
"We saw James Ryan and the whole area around calling a line-out has become a very nuanced area. You have to react to things as they develop throughout the game.
"I think James Ryan had responsibility for that in the game against England in Twickenham in the Nations Cup. It didn't go particularly well. So I think it's a massive opportunity for him to learn from O'Connell.
"But it's only a question of he's only three or four weeks before the opening game, is that enough to make your impact? I think the very fact that he's going to be in there, in that bubble, in that camp, available to players right throughout that Six Nations period, it has to be a plus. I don't see any major downside from it really."
Lenihan is confident O'Connell will bring a vast amount of detail and knowledge with his approach that can only be beneficial.
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"O'Connell is an iconic figure in Irish rugby. But he's not just someone who gives the speeches in the dressing room. He's technically a very astute rugby brain," he said of the former Ireland captain.
"I know people are highlighting the fact that he doesn't have a huge amount of rugby coaching behind him but I think he's going to be involved in specific areas that he has incredible rugby knowledge on.
"You're talking about the line-out, the maul and the breakdown - all three areas in which he excelled.
"I think he will have watched Ireland over the past year, two years and he will have seen issues there which he feels that he could have an impact on and I've no doubt that he will.
"The challenge is there are only three or four weeks between now and hopefully the opening game of the Six Nations.
"If you look at the areas we're talking about - the line-out and the maul in particular - that is an area where Ireland have regressed massively in my opinion over the last 12 months.
"So I think he will have an impact in that area. If you were a player and you heard Paul O'Connell is coming in and he's going to take over that area, I can't but feel that you'd be enthused by that. Outside of his ability as a player, you'll know that he'll bring a work ethic, a technical ability and a forensic analysis that is going to make you a better player."
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