Jack McGrath: No perfect game, but form and enjoyment are back

Loosehead prop’s hard work since November Tests rewarded with Six nations start

Gerry Thornley and John O'Sullivan look at Ireland's second Six Nations match against Italy and what hope, if any, Wales have of toppling England in Twickenham. Pictures: Inpho

Sometimes the solution is hidden in plain view. Six weeks ago Jack McGrath spoke honestly about returning for pre-season training under-cooked physically after his exploits with the Lions in New Zealand, the legacy of which was a loss of form and his pre-eminent position as the number one loosehead prop with Leinster and Ireland.

Cian Healy took both jerseys and McGrath’s involvement in the November Test series was limited to a start against Fiji as he slipped to third in the national pecking order. He resolved the fitness issues, working on extras so that his conditioning improved to the extent where he could properly represent his obvious quality as a player.

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