The rays of positivity generated around the in-camp expectation that Conor Murray and Eoin Reddan will be fit for Italy would not really have brightened Kieran Marmion’s day.
“I think not many people are thinking about that,” he said.
The general consensus is that Marmion should be able to see off Isaac Boss as the best option for the Irish Wolfhounds against the English Saxons on Friday night.
“We’re just going into the game looking to deliver as best as we can, so we can put our hands up to say that we’re ready if the opportunity does come.”
The English-born nine has been content to learn his trade and drill down on the details Ireland coach Joe Schmidt has pressed as priorities to make the step-up to the Six Nations. “It’s obviously great to have competition,” said the Connacht half-back.
You don’ have to be a genius to see how the 22 year-old is driven by the competitive edge that makes him a nightmare for fringe defences.
Marmion has had to upskill his box-kicking, speed up his service and fine-tune other elements of his game to find a place in Ireland’s squad.
“He has a certain way that he wants his nines to play and I just go out to try to deliver that as best as I can.
“Obviously different coaches want different styles out of different players, being able to adapt to those different styles is definitely something that you need to work on and be adaptable for when those situations come.”