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'He will be there for a long time' - Munster proud of Casey's Ireland call-up

The 21-year-old Limerick man is part of the Six Nations squad.

Casey has made seven starts for Munster this season.
Casey has made seven starts for Munster this season.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

MUNSTER HAVE BACKED 21-year-old Craig Casey to make an impact after his first full senior Ireland call-up.

The Limerick native was included as one of three scrum-halves in Andy Farrell’s Six Nations squad and will hope to make his debut in the upcoming championship, which begins for Ireland with a trip to Cardiff to face Wales on 7 February.

Casey has previously trained with Ireland but this is his first time being included in the full squad. The Shannon RFC and Ardscoil Rís product had been impressive for Munster this season, making seven starts in the Pro14 and coming off the bench twice in the Champions Cup.

Behind the scenes, he has been working ferociously hard and, as such, Munster assistant coach Graham Rowntree feels the former U20 Grand Slam winner fully deserves his place in the Ireland squad.

“I’m not surprised he has been called up,” said Rowntree this afternoon. “It’s a pleasure to work with the guy day in and day out.

“His diligence, he is last off the field, the effort he puts into his game, he has got the most out of his physique and I have not worked with many more diligent players than Craig. He’s a joy to work with. He will be there for a long time, I can see.”

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Casey is regarded as a vocal presence within the Munster squad despite his youth. That maturity has encouraged Ireland boss Farrell to bring him into the fold, even ahead of more experienced options.

Casey’s Munster team-mates are excited to see him getting the nod from Ireland and second row Billy Holland underlined some of the qualities he brings.

“His performances have been excellent,” said Holland. “He has an energy on the training pitch, the extras he does, the growth in the game has been phenomenal. He’s the type of player I wouldn’t enjoy playing against.

“He’s non-stop, a million miles an hour, full of energy. But it’s not fake energy, it’s not just talk – he’s everywhere, he covers so much ground and he’s also got a smart rugby brain.

“I’m delighted for him, he thoroughly deserves to be in the squad because his performances have spoken so highly.”

About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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