Ambitious Molony willing to stay patient as he waits for his chance
Part of the initial wave of colts unleashed by Leo Cullen two seasons ago, Ross Molony has had to be patient as those around him go on to greater honours.
Unleashed as one of the 'Cullen's Cubs' against Bath in the 2016 Champions Cup, the second-row was one of five youngsters who helped usher in a new generation of players at the province that has helped re-invigorate their fortunes.
Now 23, the second-row finds himself on the outside of the match-day 23 looking in on the biggest days.
Two separate niggling injuries have hampered his progress this season and the emergence of his old school-mate James Ryan along with the form of new signing Scott Fardy and stalwart Devin Toner has seen his involvement limited to 22 minutes of Champions Cup rugby so far this season.
Rather than drop his head, he is determined to put himself in the frame for next week's European semi-final by performing against Benetton this Saturday.
"Definitely, we're into the end of the season, where every game is going to be important. We're four points ahead of Scarlets in the league, so if we push on and increase the gap... our goal is to get a home semi in the league," he said.
"You kind of have to be (patient), there's no point getting down and getting p****d off with yourself or anyone around you. You have to keep working through.
"I have ambitions to go further in my career and get a green jersey at some point.
"To do that, you have to play in those Champions Cup games because it's that level, right up there with international level.
"They're the sort of games you want to be playing in, so hopefully with the semi-final in mind I'll give the coaches an opportunity to see what I can do this week and we'll go again for the semi-final."
A powerful carrier with an aptitude for lineout work, the lock is backing his own ability.
He has only played alongside Ryan at senior level once, but is fully aware of his quality from their school days at St Michael's.
"He was two years below me, so I actually watched him winning the U-13s cup," he recalled.
"He and Max (Deegan) were playing, then I played with him in sixth year and he was brilliant. As you see this year. It was similar to how he is with Ireland.
"Second-rows probably take a bit more time usually to get to that level, but even as a fourth year he was putting an impact in that team and got selected for the Senior Cup."