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Lock Mike McCarthy keen to put himself in the frame


Mike McCarthy

Mike McCarthy

Mike McCarthy

Leinster lock Mike McCarthy is out to make a good final impression on Joe Schmidt.

The last round of the PRO12 League away to Edinburgh on Saturday and the Ireland-Barbarians international form the two chances for Leinster players to make a statement ahead of the pre-season approach to the World Cup.

"Every week you're trying to put the cheese in the mouse trap and, hopefully the mice will take it," he said.

Presumably, McCarthy is the cheese and Matt O'Connor and Joe Schmidt the mice that have to be convinced that he is worth the lure for club and country.

He still finds the time to look back on what might have been, near the end of a season that will go down as 'the great forgettable.'

"It does hurt not being in these play-off games," he dwelt.

"I don't know what the story is but I'd love to be involved against The Baa Baas.

"I suppose it gives me an opportunity to put myself in the shop window, while the other guys are playing in the semis and final."

It hasn't been all bad. McCarthy has come into good form in the latter part of the season to take the eye in Europe and the PRO12, while the collective effort came up short on both fronts.

"You can sense the disappointment," he shared.

"We came so close against Toulon, emptied the tank. I still wake up and it does hurt. We did come very close.

"That plays on my mind a lot. On the other hand, I know how good a squad we've got, how good the coaches are. We have parked that now."

Leinster still have to make the best of what they have left to do on Saturday as third and fourth seedings in The Champions Cup are at stake against Edinburgh in Murrayfield.

"It's a big pitch and they like to throw it about," he said.

"The motivation is to finish strong, to get the win. It is important for us to finish in that fifth spot."