Wednesday 29 March 2017

McFadden hoping for taste of action

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Fergus McFadden could be about to enter the biggest weekend of his rugby career but typically he is being forced to wait until he knows for sure.

The Leinster centre is on standby if Brian O'Driscoll's hamstring injury rules the Ireland captain out of Saturday's clash with Saracens at Wembley Stadium, which would give him the kind of high-profile start he needs to make the next step on his career ladder.

It's the story of the 24-year-old's professional life as, despite impressive performances, he has been forced to bide his time for opportunities behind the province's illustrious centre duo of O'Driscoll and Gordon D'Arcy.

After a try-scoring cameo last weekend against Racing Metro, the ex-Clongowes man knows a run against the English high-flyers at the 90,000 capacity stadium could be his chance to make a statement, a la Jonny Sexton in the Heineken Cup semi-final in 2009.

But speaking at the launch of the 2010 Irish Sport Volunteers Awards, McFadden said he won't be overdoing it if his shot does arrive.

"At the moment I'm just dying to play games. It was nice to get on and score a try and be involved in a great win but I want to be on from the start week in, week out," he said.

"That's what you're gearing yourself up for each week. You're not really thinking about, 'Oh God, I've got to take my chance and then I'm going to be playing from now on.' I wouldn't be thinking during a match, 'I need to score, I need to play well, I need to get man of the match.'

"What Jonny did in the semi-final and final of the Heineken Cup wasn't normal. Not many players come in and make that sort of an impact. I'd be looking to take care of my own business and do my job well.

"It's a funny one because Brian would be a friend. You are half concerned about how his scans went and hoping for the best, but at the same time I would love a start as well. It's bittersweet in a way.

"Brian has made some miraculous recoveries in the past, so I am not going to take anything for granted."

Irish Independent

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