Dan Sheridan/INPHO
under the wing

Munster's U20 star Nash grateful for Conway and Earls' influence as he goes from strength to strength

Munster’s first-choice wings have made an impression on the next generation.

AS HE FACES into next week’s World Rugby U20 Championship in Georgia, Munster’s Calvin Nash is feeling fitter, faster, stronger than the man who picked up the captaincy for his country during the Six Nations.

Even at the age grade though, Nash felt the rigours of international rugby hit home in the spring.

He has been grateful to work with Rassie Erasmus’ senior squad, and also two fellow speedsters who have been known to lift above their weight class in the gym.

“Andrew Conway has definitely helped me. Before my debut he was helping me with the defensive side of things because I was actually a bit unsure on a few things. He put it to bed and then I was so comfortable making my debut,” said Nash, who will likely take up a spot in the back three when Ireland meet Italy in their tournament opener in Kutaisi on Wednesday. He adds:

“Not even just training with Keith Earls but watching him, he’s outstanding. He’s so good in training. He’s brilliant to watch and those two lads have really helped me.”

““I have been working hard to get my body right because I don’t want what happened in the Six Nations to be repeated in this Championship. It’s obviously very hard on your body but fingers crossed I stay on the pitch and then I’ll try stand out.”

Andrew Conway scores a try Conway takes a knock as he reaches for a late try against Ospreys. Tommy Dickson / INPHO Tommy Dickson / INPHO / INPHO

Though he may stand to benefit, Nash will be joining the entirety of Peter Malone’s squad in hoping the ‘captain’s curse’ that hexed February and March has been banished to allow Paul Boyle can get a clean run at leading his side in a pool that also contains Scotland and New Zealand.

If there is a positive to be taken from the quintet of Six Nations captaincies Ireland had to hand out earlier this year, it’s that there are now numerous leaders around the squad. Nash though, will lead by example rather than volume.

I suppose there is always that bit of responsibility there, but I wouldn’t be one to talk too much. I talk when I feel a point needs to be said.

“There will be a few new lads that I won’t even know so it will be good to meet them. They are younger lads, but they would have been leaders in their squads as well. They probably have a few things to add to us as well. It will be interesting to see.”

All that will be revealed in the testing weeks ahead for Nash and Ireland. Before he boards the long flight to Georgia via Amsterdam and Kiev, he can keep the lessons from the Pro12 finalists rolling around his head.

“I’m just taking it one step at a time. I’m literally just trying hard and taking advice on from the older lads in the Munster setup.

“Even just listening to the coaches and trying to get extra sessions in because I constantly want to improve. I’m always setting goals and I feel that if I perform well, the team will as well. I’ve been focused on that to try bring it up.”

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