Craig Casey itching for World Cup start

Limerick's Craig Casey. Photo: Brendan Moran.

CRAIG Casey is set to feature for Ireland in their Rugby World Cup tie with Tonga at Stade de la Beaujoire, Nantes, tomorrow evening (Saturday September 16, 8pm).

The Shannon star has been named as a replacement and is relishing the prospect of an early tournament appearance.

“If I get the chance, I’m really looking forward to it, it would be great,” said the 24-year-old at this week’s media conference.

“There are a few family members who are here following the team for a few weeks. It would be unbelievable to make my World Cup debut if it happens.

He continued: “When you’re part of a squad, only 23 can play, I think going into a tournament you know you’re not going to play every minute.”

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“Every player knows that and you have to be ready for when an opportunity does come, and when an opportunity does come, you’ve got to take it with both hands and try and cement your place in the weekend after that.”

Casey, a nephew of Munster legend Mossy Lawler, concluded: “So everyone is itching to go and even the lads that played last week are itching to get back on the field so it’s a real buzz around the squad.”

The starting selection includes Conor Murray of Garryowen, in a half-back partnership with captain Johnny Sexton.