Scannell relishing extra competition
Munster centre Rory Scannell says he hopes to cement his place in the starting XV even with all of their international stars back in contention.
Munster's Ireland contingent returned for their 47-0 hammering of Zebre last weekend. Although Simon Zebo scored two tries and fellow Ireland international Keith Earls also starred, it was Scannell who was named man of the match.
The 22-year-old Dolphin clubman has been a leading light for Munster this season as his fledgling career goes from strength to strength in his native province.
Since the Douglas man made his debut against Cardiff Blues in November 2014, he has transitioned from out-half to inside-centre, where he has become one of Munster's most consistent performers in 2015-16.
The former Ireland U-18 and U-20 signed a contract extension with the province in December and he will look to renew his partnership with Francis Saili as the season enters its business end.
But Scannell is refusing to give up his hopes of keeping his place in the team, even with the return of the Irish internationals, and Denis Hurley from injury.
"It's been great to get a few starts in a row since Christmas and I'm just trying to build on my performance every week and add to my confidence.
"And it's great that you can see it in other lads as well that have been starting for the last six or seven weeks in a row.
"At the start of the season I was just in and out of the team a bit and I think it's important to get that run of games under your belt and build that confidence up," he said.