Marshall savours unique opportunity
Munster hooker Rhys Marshall said it is unusual to be in a situation where international players leave in the middle of a season to play for their country.
But the New Zealander said that it presents an unique opportunity for other players to step forward and become first-teamers.
The 24-year-old, who is in the first of a three-year deal with Munster, said he is still becoming accustomed to seeing star players depart to play for Ireland during their Pro12 campaign.
"The cool thing is when the international boys leave - and this is nothing like we have in New Zealand - we have other guys who have been on the defensive team at training or the 'A' team getting a crack," said Marshall. "And those boys are constantly putting their hand up and training and are getting a crack here and that's awesome.
"I come from a place where you don't get those opportunities, the All Blacks don't leave until the provincial season whereas here the guys who do flog it week in, week out for the last nine months get to front up and some of us do.
"And that's awesome to see because that's the winning and losing in the competition because of the ability of boys to come in and fit in and do what they do good so that's awesome," said the former Taranaki and Chiefs player, who has 12 appearances so far for Munster.