Ex-Wales fly-half makes brave Johnny Sexton call for ‘world-class’ talent Jack Crowley

Colin Newboult
Jack Crowley scoring a try for Ireland v Italy in the 2024 Six Nations.

Jack Crowley scoring a try for Ireland v Italy in the 2024 Six Nations.

Former Wales fly-half Jonathan Davies believes that Jack Crowley has the talent to be even better than the great Johnny Sexton.

The Munsterman was handed the playmaking reins by Andy Farrell following the retirement of Sexton, and he has not let the head coach down.

Crowley impressed against France in the 38-17 Six Nations triumph but arguably stepped it up another level the following week, despite facing a weaker side in Italy.

Outstanding performance

His passing, running and decision-making ability came to the fore as Ireland secured a dominant 36-0 victory over the Azzurri in Dublin.

Davies is a huge fan of the youngster and insists that he has all the qualities to go to the very top of the game.

“I think he stepped up against France, and he just looks so comfortable. He’s got huge, huge potential. He takes the ball to the line, he double pumps a lot, but he’s got the confidence to go through the tackle a lot,” the pundit told BBC Sport.

“His goal-kicking isn’t that great at the moment, but it’s just the confidence that he plays with.

“He’s come in for Sexton, which is big shoes to fill, and I think that he is really, really coping well with international rugby.

“He’s got great awareness. They will be very, very happy with the way that he is playing, the way that he has stepped into that stand-off position. He looks very comfortable.”

There were worries over Ireland’s fly-half stocks after the departure of Sexton, but Crowley has allayed those concerns for the time being.

Davies believes that the 24-year-old is already “running the show” and also has “greater potential” than his predecessor in the number 10 jersey.

World-class talent

“In that side and the way they’re playing, and their rugby intelligence at the moment, he could really become a world-class player,” he added.

“That’s early in his career, and he’s running the show already. I know it’s only Italy, and they nilled them, but I’m looking at last week. He’s got the confidence and the awareness of an experienced player.

“The work that the forwards do and the positions that they get. The shortness of the passes, they run in pairs, and if you run in pairs, you take defenders off the ball carrier.

“They get easy yardage, so he’s going to be playing more on the front foot than maybe Sexton did early on his career.”

READ MORE: Ireland star believes ‘growing’ team-mate Jack Crowley lacks ‘Johnny Sexton’s aura’