Sport Leinster Rugby

Friday 22 September 2017

McGrath determined to earn Ireland's call

Leinster's Luke McGrath is hoping that a call-up to the Ireland squad isn’t too far away. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Leinster's Luke McGrath is hoping that a call-up to the Ireland squad isn’t too far away. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

While he may have plenty on his plate with Leinster at the moment, Luke McGrath is hoping that a call-up to the Ireland squad isn't too far away.

The 23-year old captained Leinster against the Dragons earlier this season which tells its own story about how highly he is regarded within the province.

Leinster are fully expected to sign a new scrum-half for next season but McGrath is remaining focused on his own game and how he can improve.

"I suppose I don't listen to it really," the former St Michael's student said.

"I just try and focus on my own game. Personally, I talk to the coaches and I know what I have to work on so it's all up to me really. I need to keep working hard and keep going the way I have been for the last couple of games."

A more pressing matter for McGrath right now is retaining his place in the starting XV when Eoin Reddan and Isaac Boss return but he admitted that both have been hugely influential in his development.

"I do have a good relationship with the two lads and they have taught me a lot. They've a huge amount of experience so I try and listen to everything they say," he said.

"It's just picking things that work for you. Not all the things they say will work for you but it's trying to adapt to the things they do say."

Watching Conor Murray perform so well in the Six Nations has also provided plenty of learnings for McGrath and while he has played for Emerging Ireland as well as the U-20s, like every young player in the country, his ultimate goal is get the call from Joe Schmidt.

"His support play has been unbelievable and that's what I've been looking at as well," he said of Murray's performances.

"If he's not at that ruck, there's someone there for him. It's getting that relationship about when knowing that your nine is in and to have someone else play nine for you as well.

"I try not to think about it (Ireland call-up) too much but obviously it's always a goal for every young player playing in the provinces. It was great to see so many young guys playing for Ireland at the weekend.

"It just gives you confidence because you know that you're on that path as well but obviously it takes a lot of hard work to get there so it's just about putting in the hours."

Irish Independent

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