Thursday 23 November 2017

Hanrahan vows to 'put stamp' on Munster No 10 jersey

Declan Rooney

Munster fly-half JJ Hanrahan is determined to take his chance this weekend against Cardiff, with rival Ian Keatley out due to a groin injury.

Keatley has been ruled out of the trip to the Welsh capital and, with a Heineken Cup double-header against Perpignan now just two weekends away, Hanrahan feels he is ready to step into the starter's shirt.

"This is my opportunity to put a stamp on it; there's a few of us who have an opportunity ahead of the Heineken Cup (game) in Thomond Park," he said. "These are massive games, with Cardiff up first.

"A lot of people say, 'you're doing really well', but I suppose the default is that there is only the two of us, so I have to keep pushing as hard as I can.

SUCCESSFUL

"With 'Keats', we push each other as much as we can and that's what I want to try to keep doing, to try and get the best out of myself every week," added Hanrahan, who tops the Pro12 golden boot charts with 18 successful kicks from 19 attempts.

Crucially, he thinks his ability to play alongside his heroes without being star-struck means he is able to produce his top form when it matters most.

"Two years ago it hit me one day in training. I wasn't even playing for Munster, but I said to myself immediately, 'you can sit back here and be in awe of everything or you can get on with it'.

"When you are at 10 you are supposed to be steering the ship, and if I was in awe of someone or I didn't feel confident enough to say anything to them on the field, then I shouldn't be there," he said.

"Two years ago I had my eureka moment and had to get over it. I'm not dictating to anyone, and I definitely don't have all the answers. I'm learning as I go."

Irish Independent

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