In form Irish beast does to Lions legend what very few have before
You know a player is in good form when they can run into a six-cap former British & Irish Lions player of the series and leave them flat on their back.
That is exactly what Ulster centre Stuart McCloskey did to the Scarlets’ Jonathan Davies at the weekend, and what very few people have done before him.
The Ireland centre came out the blocks firing at the Parc y Scarlets, making a huge carry into the Scarlets’ 22 where he shrugged Davies’ tackle with what looked like absolute ease. This is before he produced a one handed offload from the deck to keep the ball alive. Two phases later McCloskey was carrying again, stepping off his right foot to beat the clutches of a Scarlets defender and offloading. It just so happened that the Scarlets defender was Davies again. Just a few minutes later the 30-year-old was making another powerful run down the right side of the field, although this time the Welshman was not involved, probably to his relief.
Weighing in at 94kg and with 100 Test caps to his name with Wales and the Lions, Davies is one of the centres of his generation, but he will not want to rewatch the first few minutes of the match against Ulster again. He did bounce back though, scoring his side’s first try of the match as they went on to lose 55-39.
Much to the bewilderment of fans, McCloskey only has six Ireland caps to his name, with his last outing in green coming in 2021 against the United States. The United Rugby Championship season is young, but he has shown the kind of form that cannot be ignored in Ulster’s first two games, where they have grabbed two bonus point wins and top the league table. Next up is Leinster at the Kingspan Stadium, which will be the true test of what kind of form he is in.
Take a look at his carry: