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Dublin: 9 °C Tuesday 18 December, 2018
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JJ Hanrahan plays down Ireland call after his man-of-the-match show for Munster

“I just want to focus on Munster and it’s step by step for me.”

Hanrahan: converted seven from seven against Dragons.
Hanrahan: converted seven from seven against Dragons.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

JJ HANRAHAN SAYS that an Irish call-up is not on his agenda and all he wants to do at the moment is make an impression with Munster.

The Kerry native produced a man-of-the-match performance in Rassie Erasmus’s final game in charge on Friday night, landing all seven conversions in a 49-6 rout of Bernard Jackman’s Dragons.

Now he wants to hit the ground running when new coach Johann van Graan takes charge later this month and says that attracting Joe Schmidt’s attention is not a concern.

“I’m not worried about any of that kind of stuff. I just want to focus on Munster and it’s step by step for me,” said the 25-year old.

“It’s all about getting game time. You get more games, you get better from that, and it’s not a bad feeling having put in a good performance and it’s good as a team and an individual to have a couple of days off and enjoy that.

“It’s nice when you get into a groove to try to keep in that groove and I’m just hoping to get back in for Zebre away because they are not as easy as everyone thinks and it’s going to be a tough ask over there.

I knew when I was leaving how special Munster was but when you’re away you see it more and more and more, and coming home and seeing what you’re coming back into.

“You’re playing for something bigger than yourself, the Munster jersey and that’s what so special about it, the boys around us and the community and family is something you can’t replace.”

Hanrahan, who returned in the summer after a couple of seasons with Northamtpon Saints, said that both Erasmus and defence coach Jacques Nienaber would be missed in Munster.

“They are probably two of the best coaches I’ve had or ever seen in action,” said Hanrahan, who has scored 10 tries in 68 appearances for Munster since his debut in 2012-13.

“Being in this environment with them was unbelievable. I’ve learned so much, I’ve just been like a sponge for the last couple of months even in the HPC [High Performance Centre] and it’s sad to see them go but it’s a great opportunity for them.

“They’re on to better things where their careers want to go so happy for them and great to get the opportunity.”

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‘This has been the best 18 months of my life’: Rassie Erasmus bids emotional farewell to Munster

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John Fallon

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