Former Leinster academy player Robin Copeland has been snapped up by Cardiff Blues after impressing for Rotherham Titans in the Aviva Championship.
You can never have too many good players but the numbers of back-row forwards Ireland has is beginning to get a bit out of hand. Stephen Ferris, Jamie Heaslip and Sean O’Brien are the men in possession of the Irish shirts at the moment but Peter O’Mahony, Shane Jennings, Chris Henry, Rhys Ruddock and Dominic Ryan are just some of then names pushing for inclusion and some or all may well get a shot on the summer tour of New Zealand.
Now we wonder will the name Robin Copeland soon have to come into the reckoning? The 24-year-old former St Mary’s player made the move over to play for Plymouth but the Dubliner was soon picked up by the Titans.
At 6’5” and 16 stone he is a hard man to stop, as evidenced by his tally of 11 tries in 20 games for Rotherham. These performances have caught the eye of the Cardiff Blues, meaning we should see a lot more of Copeland on our screens next year.
The Irish Times quotes Blues forwards’ coach Justin Burnell, who couldn’t be happier to have nabbed the Irish player.
“Robin is a big, physical boy with the ability to cross the gain-line but has the skills and finesse to put people in to finish via his decision making. He is 24-years old and has been the outstanding player in the Championship this year.”
“We watched his games a few times, assessed his performances and then viewed him and met him. It’s important that the player has the right attitude and mind set to fit into the environment. We went through that process and he ticked all the boxes.”
“He might be and unknown quantity with the PRO12 but he will be a surprise package as well. He’s a blindside flanker and also covers second row, in a similar way to Andries Pretorius, who also came in as an unknown quantity. We will be looking for him to play alongside Andries and Michael Paterson and the battle hardened, experienced Xavier Rush.”
Copeland will certainly be one to watch and with the flexibility of moving up to the second row, he could be a very valuable asset to the Irish team.