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Ireland boss Andy Farrell hails ‘natural footballer’ Mack Hansen ahead of Six Nations debut against Wales

ANDY FARRELL assisted Mack in beating Wayne Pivac.

Farrell gave his Mack Hansen Irish debut against Six Nations champions Wales.

Mack Hansen in training for the Irish Rugby team

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Mack Hansen in training for the Irish Rugby teamCredit: Sportsfile

It will be the baptismal fire for the Australian-born Connacht star but Farrell thinks he is ready to show what he can do for Pivac’s side.

He said: “He is a rugby player and he has all the skills, he is also good and calm in his style on the pitch.

“It’s tough when you go to international camps but the best players and run to the ground and end up instantly winning a couple of doubles are the ones who can collect everything in an instant and Mack definitely have done that. He tends to get really cold, see good shots and early because he’s ahead of the game.

“And, look, it’s his first time wearing the shirt, of course there are going to be things he goes wrong with etc and we’re going to gauge that and build through the competition with him.

“He’s a born footballer, he’s played quite a bit of rugby as a number 15, maybe we’ll also look at something on the bottom with him. He’s played quite a bit in the No. 10 position and he’s very agile. So we’re excited to bring Mack to life. ”

Hansen’s cause was helped when Keith Earls was ruled out with a hamstring strain, while James Lowe had a crooked. He was preferred over Rob Baloucoune, who was transferred to Ulster.

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He said: “Rob was a bit careless, nothing too serious, which just put him back in preparation last weekend. Now he’s fine. Mack has the upper hand in terms of preparation, he has his chance to shine but Rob will give his all in the competition, I’m sure. ”

Pivac, meanwhile, has placed winger Josh Adams out of center for tomorrow’s game.

With several Welsh stars injured, Adams started in 13th with Johnny McNicholl on the right.

Dan Biggar led the team in Alun Wyn Jones’ absence.

SALARY: L Williams; McNicholl, Adams, Tompkins, Rees-Zammit; Biggar, T Williams; Jones, Elias, Francis; Rowlands, Beards; Jenkins, Basham, Wainwright.

https://www.thesun.ie/sport/rugby-union/8311673/ireland-andy-farrell-mack-hansen-debut-six-nations-wales/ Ireland boss Andy Farrell hails ‘natural footballer’ Mack Hansen ahead of Six Nations debut against Wales

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