Monday 24 April 2017

Erasmus joy at Test caps for Reds stars

Rassie Erasmus. Photo: Sportsfile
Rassie Erasmus. Photo: Sportsfile

Declan Rooney

Rassie Erasmus says he has been impressed by the way Joe Schmidt is introducing new faces to his international squad - including the sizeable Munster contingent of late.

In recent weeks Munster players Billy Holland, John Ryan and Jack O'Donoghue were all handed their Ireland debuts by Schmidt, while Darren Sweetnam and this week Rory Scannell were involved in training at Carton House.

Many of the players returned to Munster ahead of tomorrow's clash with Treviso, and according to director of rugby Erasmus, their experience is bound to rub off on the rest of the squad.

"I think every boy obviously wants to play for Ireland. When you get a call-up, even if it just for training camp, it makes you feel that you are closer and you must be closer otherwise they won't invite you," said Erasmus.

"I think it is great what Joe is doing in blooding guys, maybe sometimes in just training sessions or being part of video sessions.

"Yes it is an honour, the more Munster boys we can get there the better."

Schmidt retained Scannell in his squad this week, while CJ Stander, Conor Murray, Keith Earls, Donnacha Ryan and Simon Zebo have all played major roles for the Ireland side in their successful November series to date.

While he is looking forward to bringing them back to Limerick, Erasmus admits he is thrilled at their success.

"We have still missed Keith, Zeebs, Conor, CJ and Donnacha, but it is nice too.

"You get senior players back and obviously they get confidence with training with the national side and being coached by Joe and working with world-class players and playing against world-class players.

"When they come back to our set up it just helps the younger guys to rub shoulders and work with them, it's a great situation to be in."

Irish Independent

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