Tuesday 19 September 2017

Casey delight at spine-tingling introduction to Thomond arena

8 December 2013; Duncan Casey, Munster, celebrates after the match following his first game in a Munster shirt. Heineken Cup 2013/14, Pool 6, Round 3, Munster v Perpignan, Thomond Park, Limerick. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
8 December 2013; Duncan Casey, Munster, celebrates after the match following his first game in a Munster shirt. Heineken Cup 2013/14, Pool 6, Round 3, Munster v Perpignan, Thomond Park, Limerick. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

Declan Rooney

Munster hooker Duncan Casey says the memory of running out onto Thomond Park for the first time will live with him for the rest of his life.

Casey took his bow in a Munster shirt against Perpignan two weeks ago as a second-half replacement for Damien Varley, but even the warm-up before the game had him pumped for action, he said.

"Running out on to the pitch in Thomond is exactly how you'd imagine it to be. It's everything you dream about when you are a young fella. It's every bit as nerve-tingling as you'd imagine when you actually get to do it.

"Before we came into the dressing-room, coming through the tunnel after the warm-up and that half of a lap was unreal.

"It sends shivers down the back of your spine and makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. I'm delighted to have finally experienced it first hand," said the 23-year-old Cork native.

Injury to Mike Sherry has given Casey the chance to deputise under Varley for the rest of the season, and despite the large turnover of players in recent years, he says there is a determination to stick to Munster's traditions in the game.

"Obviously there is a good number of new faces that have come into the side in the last two or three years and we are very keen to make this our own team," Casey said.

"But in saying that, the traditional Munster values are still very prevalent in terms of hard work, honest endeavour and working for one another, physicality and trying to dominate the opposition.

"Nothing changes in that regard, the personnel might be different but the core values remain the same and always will be I'd imagine."

Irish Independent

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