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McCarthy diplomatic on Henshaw

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Leinster's Mike McCarthy. Picture: David Maher/SPORTSFILE

Leinster's Mike McCarthy. Picture: David Maher/SPORTSFILE

Leinster's Mike McCarthy. Picture: David Maher/SPORTSFILE

FORMER Connacht lock Mike McCarthy was not about to fall into the trap set by hungry hacks on the hunt for a story.

He refused to be drawn into the argument over whether Robbie Henshaw and/or Kieran Marmion would have been better to move to Leinster or another Heineken Cup club than extend their stays at Connacht.

McCarthy cited "playing all the time" as the factor that works best for him and, probably, for Connacht's hottest prospects.

"They are obviously benefiting well now. Robbie and Kieran have been playing well and they are in the squad.

"Wherever they are, if they are playing well, they're going to be in the Irish set-up."

In terms of his international involvement, the time out through that nasty facial injury suffered on the end of a boot by Osprey Ian Evans was not welcome. He slipped behind Paul O'Connell and Devin Toner and, arguably, Donnacha Ryan and Dan Tuohy over the length of the Six Nations.

"I know myself I was unfortunate to miss those first couple of weeks at the Six Nations camp. Other players got their chances and played well. The competition for places is massive".

He was given a list of things to work on by Ireland coach Joe Schmidt and his assistant John Plumtree in order to make a final push for inclusion in Argentina.

"I really want to go on the tour to Argentina. Everyone does. But I don't think I can look any further than my form for Leinster," he said. "A strong finish to the season and that will look after itself, if I'm doing my job."


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