Sunday 21 April 2019

Marshall targets Zebre springboard

Munster's Rhys Marshall. Photo: Sportsfile
Munster's Rhys Marshall. Photo: Sportsfile

Declan Rooney

Munster hooker Rhys Marshall has targeted a strong performance against Zebre on Saturday as a springboard back into European action.

The 26-year-old Kiwi has had his injury problems this season, but has shaken off the effects of the hamstring injury that saw him miss more than two months' action over Christmas. And despite managing a slight knee issue recently, he is excited to be ready for a key period in Munster's season.

He is a likely starter against Zebre and wants to hold that slot ahead of the Champions Cup quarter-final with Edinburgh in 10 days' time.

"I just had a bursa on my knee so I had a big fat knee for the last couple of weeks. I was just carrying that around, but there is always bumps and bruises. I was just rehabbing, that old hamstring problem is not there but you're just more conscious (of it now).

"The boys that are coming back from Ireland camp might have an eye on Edinburgh, but for this group it's your last chance to put your hand up to get into that group, so there are quite a lot of boys who are going to be hungry."

Marshall also believes that Ireland's recent struggles won't have gone unnoticed in his native land.

"Yeah, people will definitely notice that. I think it was such an incredible year last year for the Irish and sometimes people get caught up and think it's going to carry on that way forever," he added. "You look over the course of every sport and you have teams who come. What the All Blacks have done is incredible and they've stayed at the high end for so long at one and two, and then for Ireland to get up there (was impressive).

"With the Irish not performing as well as they thought they could in the Six Nations, they could turn up in the World Cup really, really hungry."

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