Tuesday 11 December 2018

Leinster's Nick McCarthy on how he wants to be selected on merit not a loophole


Nick McCarthy. Photo: Sportsfile
Nick McCarthy. Photo: Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

Nick McCarthy has suddenly gone from being Leinster’s third-choice scrum-half to potentially having a major role to play in his side’s season.

The province remain confident that Luke McGrath will recover from a knee injury in time to face Saracens, but having gotten his first start of the season last week, McCarthy is readying himself for what lies ahead.

Leinster can only select three ‘overseas’ players in a match-day squad and with Jamison Gibson-Park the back up to McGrath for the last while, the coaching staff may have to make a big selection decision further down the line.

Scott Fardy has been immense since joining, while James Lowe has been a revelation both on and off the pitch.

McCarthy is well aware that the competition laws may well work in his favour but, understandably, he wants to be picked on merit rather than a loophole.

“Being realistic for me, it may mean more opportunities in terms of game-time,” the 23-year old admitted.

“But I suppose I also have to work hard at my own stuff, work hard at training at getting better and put my best foot forward, hopefully I’ll get picked on merit and not because of a rule.

“I have had a few opportunities in the last few weeks. I have really enjoyed it, it has been great to get a good opportunity.

“If you get a bit of game-time you get more comfortable in the system, you get a bit of confidence, so it is going well at the moment.

“It is something that (attacking threat) Stuart (Lancaster) keeps talking to the halves about, keep taking the line on. It just adds another level to our game.”

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