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merry Moore loving every minute

Marty Moore is a man in a hurry. A busy morning training with Leinster followed by a busy afternoon with the DSPCA and his pug Yogie for a photocall, he is a man in demand but he is taking it all in his stride and enjoying every minute.

"To be honest if I planned out a year ago how the next 12 months would go I could not have scripted it any better really. The last few days after Paris have been fun, very special, actually, and being able to share that at home with family and friends has been great but you do need to move on fairly quickly or at least park it until the end of the season as we have a huge game on Friday with Leinster."

Lest we forget the 22-year-old was a member of the Lansdowne team that won the AIL Division 1A last season and while that is not to be sniffed at, the step-up from that to Pro12, to Heineken, to Test level is nothing short of remarkable in that short space of time.

So how does it all come about? The days of letters or telegrams are long gone but when the call came, it could only be one thing.

"There is always a reason for a call from Joe (Schmidt)! Matt O'Connor aside, he is the only professional coach that I have played under so I am used to his way of coaching. So when the phone went off at 7am I had to sit up out of bed and clear the throat fairly lively! I was already up, I said!

"It was a fantastic feeling getting the news. It was after a Heineken game of a Monday morning so I knew that it could only be good news but it's when you arrive on the Sunday into Carton House that the butterflies go into overdrive."

A lot has been made in the media of players not familiar with the Irish coach's style and in particular how impressed they were by his attention to detail and it is a trait that Marty saw first hand.

"Joe was in his first year with Leinster the same year that I joined the Leinster Academy but straight away he met the new Academy guys individually and spoke to us at length. In his last year with us my involvement with the senior team increased and I would have had a lot of time with him then and obviously now with the Irish set up."

Back to those butterflies though and you venture that the feeling of arriving in to camp must be overwhelming at some level and the Lucan/Celbridge native is inclined to agree.

"It is special. I get a great buzz from wearing the Leinster jersey and I am very proud of that fact, so to even comprehend that you might be pulling on a green one is a very special feeling. The first day is hectic. Getting your gear and getting all the formal stuff out of the way for the media and match day programmes. To be fair that side is planned brilliantly and 'Rala' has everything sorted. All you need to do really is turn up on time.

"The Monday morning is when the on-pitch stuff starts and to be honest you are then into training mode and wanting to do your best and to perform as best you can day in day out in the hope that the call will come your way."

Over the course of the Six Nations, the call came his way in all five games and it is a mark of the faith that Joe Schmidt and the rest of the coaching team have in the young prop, but also the rest of the bench, many of whom have little experience at this level.

"You just want to perform. Joe certainly is a details man so for example when you hit a ruck you need to make sure that you also make an impact on one of their players as well. Small details maybe, but that is multiplied across the team for every player. So when you get a chance, as we did, regardless of your experience, you know that you have a job to do and that they have faith in you to do it."

While it has been a hectic few months he is not one to rest on his laurels and is already anxious to add to his reputation within and without the Irish set up.

"When you are out of camp during the Six Nations period, and at home for a day or two, it is of course nice to be at home. But it is not long before you start to look forward to the trip back to Carton on the Sunday and you see it then in the other guys. Fellas that I have looked up to, that have been around maybe 10 years or so, they still have that same buzz of being involved in the set up and I want to experience that for as long as I can."

There is the temptation to look ahead another 12 months and the Rugby World Cup that is on everyone's horizon but instead he is already focused on Zebre, on Munster and on Toulon.


"I've really enjoyed being back the last few days with the lads. As I said already there is still a massive buzz of getting back involved at Leinster, pulling on that jersey and the Pro12 is my bread and butter. You can't get complacent or get ahead of yourself.

"I need to keep performing on the training pitch on a daily basis, keep putting my hand up and if I can take my opportunities when they arrive, then hopefully that will be enough for Matt. That is all you can do."

After the meteoric rise, maybe time to take a step back, but certainly not a time to stand still. Far too much to play for and far too much fun to be had.