Former Ireland and Munster scrum-half Peter Stringer expects John Cooney to get his first taste of the Six Nations this weekend.
The Ulster number nine started Ireland's victory over the USA in November and looks set to provide back up for Conor Murray in Saturday's showdown with England.
With Luke McGrath and Kieran Marmion injured, Stringer says Cooney is the ideal candidate for a place on the bench.
"Caolin Blade's in the squad as well, really impressed with him as well
"The last couple of months, what he's done for Connacht and they way he's played, himself and Jack Carty have connected really well.
"He's a really energetic guy.
"But I think John Cooney is a guy who's dependable. He's got a boot.
"He's just got that calmness to him, I think, he's got that experience a little bit longer than Caolin so I think that he'll be on the bench in my eyes."