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Monday 23 October 2017

Dave Kearney: 'It was tough watching the Six Nations on TV'

Consistency for Leinster will be good enough for Ireland recall

Leinster's Dave Kearney
Leinster's Dave Kearney

It must have been a weird one. The 2014 Six Nations winner Dave Kearney was glued to his couch all through Saturday when the man usually sitting beside him, 'The Brother,' was celebrating a second successive Championship.

"Yeah, it was very tough, to be honest. I'm not going to lie about it," he said.

The cruel intercept of injury was all that separated Kearney from being out there, simply because he is not one to lose form.

When he is fit, he is almost always firing. They call it consistency.

"From being involved in winning the competition last year, I know what that feeling is like," he added.

"That's the reason we all play rugby, to get that feeling and win big competitions.

"At the same time, I'm delighted for the lads and it's great again for Irish rugby coming into a big year."

The question is: where does Kearney go from here?

"Missing out on winning trophies gives you even more hunger to win trophies again at the end of the season."

The absence of able wings Kearney and Andrew Trimble was not too costly to Ireland, illustrating the quality there.

Tommy Bowe, Simon Zebo and, latterly, Luke Fitzgerald all made an impact within Joe Schmidt's system.

"Last year, he kept myself and Trimby on the wings for the whole tournament. If you play well, he'll reward you for form," voiced Kearney.

OPPORTUNITY

"That's pretty much what he did this year, bar putting Lukey in at the end.

"Unless you're picking up injuries or not performing, you can hold your spot

"But if someone gets a bang, it gives other guys an opportunity to get back in. That's what happened me last year.

"It is the same this year. Myself and Trimby had a couple of injuries along the way, missed November, and then that gives guys a chance to come in.

"They came in and played well and took their chances so it's very easy to find yourself back in the mix again."

This brings the tenor of the conversation back around to Leinster.

This is where he has to show form and remind Schmidt that he has what it takes to make the World Cup.

"If anything it's a great motivation for the players and for guys who have unfortunately missed out on being involved with Ireland.

"It gives great motivation to put your hand up for selection further down the line."

It all begins withleague leaders Glasgow in the PRO12 at The RDS on Friday night and on to Bath in The Champions Cup quarter-final at The Aviva Stadium on Saturday week.

"There's two pretty big weeks coming up, with Glasgow this week and Bath after.

"Again, it's a good chance to put your hand up for selection here and win trophies."

This is no given with Fitzgerald, Fergus McFadden, Darragh Fanning and Zane Kirchner all eager to impress coach Matt O'Connor.

The business end of the season means coach O'Connor will want consistency of selection and performance.

Kearney has to convince O'Connor for club before Schmidt for Autumn's World Cup.

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