Johnny Sexton Sam Prendergast Italy Scotland Ireland Irish Rugby Sport Rugby Johnny Sexton Sam Prendergast Italy Scotland Ireland

Gunne and Prendergast partnership paying off

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Fintan Gunne surrounds himself with good people.The Ireland U20s scrum-half has player of the tournament-elect Sam Prendergast outside him and an almighty pack of forwards to feed him the ball on a platter.Ahead of Sunday's Grand Slam showdown with England at a sold-out Musgrave Park (5pm, live on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player), the Terenure player has been eager to praise those who make his game look simple."He carries himself in a similar way to Johnny Sexton, especially if you are in the wrong," he says with a smile after a favourable comparison between his fly-half Prendergast (below) and the Ireland skipper."He's very laid back on the ball, when he catches it he just looks so casual, sticks it in behind or grubbers it through but he’s not afraid to have a word with you if you are stepping out of line."Gunne and Prendergast have been team-mates and rivals over the last few years, only missing out on more game-time together due to Covid restrictions."We started in Leinster 18s but that was the Covid year," adds Gunne, who scored tries against Italy and Scotland."We did a bit of training but didn’t get to play any matches."We stayed in contact then.

We played each other in the Senior Cup semi-final [in 2020], when they [Newbridge College] beat us [St Michael's College]. He had that up against me."And then Leinster 19s was when we first got to play with each other, we got a run of three games there in the interpros.

This year is when we really took off as then halfbacks and I enjoy playing with him."We know how each other plays and even being in Leinster [academy] together, in the gym every day, we have built up a good relationship."We feel comfortable with each other on the pitch and are not afraid to pass ideas.

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