Tuesday 7 February 2023 Dublin: 9°C
Inpho/Billy Stickland Sherry in action against Glasgow in round two.
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Sherry determined to make the most of every chance with Munster
The hooker hopes to have put injury frustration behind him after a strong start to the new season.

HE CHALKED UP his 100th appearance in April and hit 30 years of age during the summer, but Munster hooker Mike Sherry is full of energy at the start of the new season.

The Limerick man has endured one injury nightmare after another since making his debut almost a decade ago and he’s keeping his fingers crossed for an extended run.

He started the opening two games against the Cheetahs and Glasgow and came off the bench for the final quarter in the rout of Ospreys last weekend.

“It’s great, I haven’t backed up a couple of games in a row for Munster for a couple of years so an extended run is lovely,” he said this week. 

“Last season I did the whole pre-season and was fit for the entire year but chances were limited. This year I did it again, backing up pre-season into the season and it definitely sets you up for the year.

“You push your body to the absolute limit, thankfully it held up,” said Sherry, who followed in his father Mick’s footsteps and became an Irish international when he played against the USA in 2013.

That cap on the summer tour seemed set to be the start of a lengthy international career, not least as he had been drafted into the 2011 World Cup squad as cover for Rory Best, while a year later he toured New Zealand but again didn’t get a cap.

He became one of Munster’s youngest captains in March 2013 when he led them out against Scarlets at the age of 24 but a plague of injuries hampered him and it wasn’t until April this year that he chalked up his 100th appearance, captaining the team against Ulster in Thomond Park.

But now a string of games at the start of the new season has given the popular Limerick man a fresh lease of life and he’s determined to make the most of it.

Mike Sherry James Crombie / INPHO James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

He spent a huge chunk of last year playing for Garryowen in the AIL and with the Munster A side but Johann van Graan has kept faith in him and now he’s preparing for his fourth game in a row, a tough test away to a Cardiff Blues side itching for a win after three close losses.

“They’d a great end to last season with a trophy, they’ve got a bit of a fortress going in the Arms Park on Friday nights,” the hooker continued. 

“The first three games they’ve lost by two points, two points and one point so they’ll definitely be hurting and probably saying to themselves what better way to kick-start their season than by taking a big scalp at home in front of a big crowd. They’re definitely going to be gunning for it.”

The next few weeks give the opportunity to stake a claim for places when Munster open their Champions Cup campaign against Exeter on 13 October.

Sherry made the last of his 20 European appearances two and a half years ago when he played against Treviso, his sixth Champions Cup appearance in that 2015-16 season.

“I’m trying to grab every chance I get with both hands, so whatever way it goes this week I’ll try to do it again,” he added.

“I’d love to play those games, play in the Champions Cup. I haven’t played a European game in a long time, so I’m obviously gung-ho to do that.”

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