Morgan Treacy/INPHO Healy back at his home club, Clontarf FC.
Summer plans
'It's in my interests to go' - Cian Healy unwilling to rest for Argentina tour
The 26-year-old Leinster loosehead prop says Munster are ‘well capable’ of winning against Toulon in the Heineken Cup.

THE HEAVY STRAPPING Cian Healy has been wearing around his ankles this season might suggest that the loosehead prop could use an extended break this summer; not that the man himself is considering it.

With Jack McGrath continuing to grow as a competitor for Ireland’s number one shirt, Healy would be unwilling to miss the two-game tour of Argentina in June. The decision may be out of his hands, but the 26-year-old is eager to travel.

“I wouldn’t be too happy to [miss out]. It’s still two Irish Test matches and a nice trip to Argentina. There’s an opportunity to rest after that and I’ve already been pushing at the coaches, jokingly, for a six-week holiday.

We’ll see how that goes, but that rest can be done after the tour. It’s two extra games and a bit of extra training. I have said that it’s in my interests to go and that I don’t want to be missing out on anything.”

Despite the noticeably large black supports around both ankles during games, Healy says he is fortunate not to be among those professionals who are playing through constant pain on the pitch.

Speaking at Clontarf FC as he promotes the clash between his club and the Barbarians on the 23rd of this month, the 47-times capped international outlines that “no movement is good movement” and says the strapping is precautionary.

“I’ve been on a rehab thing for a while just to keep them ticking over. If you do damage to an ankle or anything, and keep training on it, it’s going to swell or it’s going to get a bit of fluid.

[image alt="Cian Healy injured after scoring" src="" width="630" height="395" class="alignnone" /end]

“So all it is is maintaining that and keeping that minimum. But structurally everything’s fine. It’s just a bit of fluid coming in and out.”

Healy will start for Leinster in tonight’s encounter with Treviso, and states that the province are intent on being the first side to win back-to-back Pro12 titles. The loosehead prop says there has been “a positive mood” within the squad despite their two recent defeats to Toulon and the Ospreys.

Being knocked out of the Heineken Cup by a strong Toulon side carries no shame, but Healy rejects the notion that one game should not come to define the entire 2013/14 season at Leinster.

“It is season-defining, because you’re not in the Heineken Cup because of that one game. But it’s not something where we’re going into massive panic stations about the structure of our rugby and how we’re playing.

We know we play good rugby and we play a positive game. We’re pretty happy with where that’s all at. It’s not really a ‘go back to the drawing board’. It’s continue that and get up and make sure it stays at that level for the remainder of the league. Next season we’ll have another stab at it [the Heineken Cup].”

Having had such recent experience of playing Toulon, Healy is in as good a position as anyone to judge whether Munster can pull off a shock in Marseille in the semi-finals. Stifling the influence of two of the French side’s players is the best advice he can conjure.

“I’d say it’s just all about sticking in there. We did it as well; we watched the way they play and we knew exactly what they were going to do. They just did it with such execution that we couldn’t hack it and that’s where we started to fall off.

Cian Healy James Crombiee / INPHO Healy takes on the Toulon defence in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals. James Crombiee / INPHO / INPHO

“If they can stick their game to Toulon and deal with what they’re doing… the likes of [Steffon] Armitage and [Mathieu] Bastareaud are two of the big, key players and they ruled the game against us. We knew they were going to be an issue.

“It’s about shutting them down and then you have an opportunity to play, I think. Munster are well capable.”

Leinster’s decision not to walk through the waiting Toulon fans at the main entrance to Stade Mayol became somewhat infamous in the aftermath of their defeat, but Healy says the province didn’t spend a great deal of time thinking about it.

No, there was nothing really done like that. I think it’s just that we went in a different entrance and that was that. That was there for Toulon and that was their hype-up thing. We were in our own place going in.”

If the Toulon fans manage to recreate a similar routine at the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille, would Munster be better off facing it down? In truth, Healy believes it’s meaningless.

“Pretty much. It’s a big thing for the Toulon team to be shown that they have that much support. Driving by, it was kind of like ‘Jesus, that’s impressive.’ It would have been cool to go through it, but it’s not something that has you in a different head space or a different preparation for the game.”

Clontarf FC play the Barbarians at Castle Avenue in Dublin on Wednesday the 23rd of April [KO. 5.30pm].

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