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Dublin: 7 °C Wednesday 8 April, 2020

'He will be looking at footage of Faf de Klerk and seeing a small guy make big hits'

Craig Casey made a superb start in his side’s win over Connacht.

Craig Casey in action against Connacht.
Craig Casey in action against Connacht.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

MUNSTER DEFENCE COACH JP Ferreira says they do not have to adjust their system to accommodate a smaller scrum-half such as Irish U20 Grand Slam winner Craig Casey.

The 20-year old Limerick native made a superb first start for Munster in their 19-14 win over Connacht and Ferreira said he just slotted right into their system.

And the South African said the 5’5” need look no further than his compatriot Faf de Klerk to appreciate that the old-style diminutive scrum-half can fit right into the modern game.

Conor Murray at 6’2” is more indicative of the tall scrum-halves who emerged in the professional era but Ferreira said that Casey too can go all the way and is picking a great role model in de Klerk.

Ferreira said that, while acknowledging one is a World Cup winner and the other is just in the cusp of his senior career, there are similarities between the two.

“They are the same height, first one. They are both left-footers. There are similarities in that. And they have both got big hearts. So, delighted that Craig got a good start on the weekend and he came through the game really well.

And no, the height of the scrum-half doesn’t alter anything. With those small scrum-halves come big hearts. Craig has got a massive heart. He will be looking at footage in the World Cup of Faf de Klerk and seeing a small guy make big hits.

“He is one of those guys, he is not scared, he won’t stand back to anybody. The opponent might be 2.05metres tall, he will still hit him. He has got a massive heart. And I won’t change anything for any particular person,” said Ferreira as Munster prepare to renew hostilities with Leinster.

He said it will be great to have Joey Carbery back for that game, presuming the out-half continues his recovery and is good to go when they squad links up on St Stephen’s Day.

Carbery’s only appearance for Munster since last March was in the 24-9 PRO14 semi-final loss to Leinster in May but he’s now on track to make his first appearance of the season against his former side.

“He came through bits of training last week, Thursday, and he is up in Irish camp at the moment. We will only get him on Thursday again this week and see where we he is at.

“If he comes through training then hopefully he will be up for it. It would be brilliant to have him back,” added Ferreira.

Flanker Gavin Coombes is going through the HIA protocols after being injured early in the win over Connacht and remains to be seen if he will be fit for the capacity 26,267 crowd at Thomond Park on Saturday.

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John Fallon

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