Munster’s Craig Casey ready to do better after getting Ireland nod for November

Munster Rugby Squad Training, UL, Limerick 19/10/2021
Craig Casey Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne (Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne)

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Craig Casey is on a mission to march into Ireland camp meaning business by producing the goods in Swansea on Saturday.

Named in the Ireland squad yesterday for the November internationals against Japan, New Zealand and Argentina, the young Munster scrum-half wants to show Andy Farrell he is in a better place after getting a run of starts for his province.

Conor Murray is only returning to action against the Ospreys after his Lions stint in the summer.

And so Casey has had centre stage to show what he can do in the number 9 shirt, starting three of the opening four wins Munster have accumulated, with Neil Cronin starting in the big victory at Scarlets.

“It’s been great," said the 22-year-old. "Minutes on the pitch is brilliant.

"You’re making mistakes, you’re making things happen. You get into a state of flow almost when you play a few games in a row.

"Seeing what I have and haven’t done well, what I need to work on has been good.

"I feel like I’ve come on a good bit over the last eight weeks and glad I could show a bit of that.”

There has been an urgency evident in Munster's young guns to make an impact – and that was in full display against the Sharks, when Casey and Gavin Coombes had an on-field argument.

"Everyone wants to make an impression every time they step on the field but those things happen on the rugby field," smiled Casey.

"Me and Gav are sweet, it was actually quite funny watching that back.

Vodafone Summer Series, Aviva Stadium, Dublin 3/7/2021 Ireland vs Japan Ireland’s Gavin Coombes and Craig Casey Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Gary Carr

"Both completely over-reacted but it was grand and we had a laugh and a joke about it – and we had to kiss and make up as well in front of the whole squad.

"Everyone has been so calm on the field and you’ve seen that when we went behind – that there hasn’t been much frantic play, much ‘God, we're behind here, we need to do something special’.

"It’s been just get back to basics, stick to the process and what we know and it has worked."

The last time Ireland played, Casey was the starting scrum-half – in the summer series victory over the USA.

It was a breakthrough moment for the Limerick man in his third Test appearance, and yet he is eager to perform better in the Test arena after being named as one of three scrum-halves with Murray and Jamison Gibson-Park.

"In ways I haven’t been overly pleased with everything I've done," he confessed.

"I definitely have been happy with some things I have done, I definitely have a few work-ons as well.

Ireland's Craig Casey
(Image: ©INPHO/Matteo Ciambelli)

"So obviously with this Saturday coming I want to show those in the game, to make up for or learn from the mistakes I’ve made – and obviously keep doing what I’m doing well.

“There’s a load of really good nines around the country.

“I try and take the best from the best scrum-halves in the world so I’m definitely keeping an eye on them.

"Then obviously you’ve got Murr who was away with the Lions.

"I've tried to learn off him and be competitive with him – it’s good to have him back in contention. It’s definitely going to drive me on a bit more as well.

"It’s a tough challenge with so much competition there but hopefully I can put up my hand again this week like I did for the last three weekends."

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