Craig Casey relishing opportunity to build understanding with ‘class’ Joey Carbery on international stage

In the first-half of Munster’s opening game of the season against the Sharks, Craig Casey and Gavin Coombes were involved in a brief heated exchange with each other.

lthough there was nothing in the incident, it did provide an insight into the competitive nature of two young players who are set to be mainstays in the Munster team in the years to come.

Afterwards, Stephen Larkham chuckled at what had occurred, as the attack coach admitted it was “quite funny to watch”.

Such is the strong bond in the Munster dressing room at the moment, it was quickly forgotten, but Casey laughs as he says himself and Coombes had to “kiss and make up in front of the whole squad.”

You can understand why Larkham was almost glad to see that feistiness coming out in two emerging talents because ultimately, Munster need that kind of relentless drive if they are to succeed in the coming seasons.

“Obviously, everyone wants to make an impression every time they step on the field, but I think those things happen on the rugby field,” Casey said.

“Me and Gav are sweet, it was actually quite funny watching that back. Both completely over-reacted but it was grand and had a laugh and a joke about it.

“The chat on the field over the last few weeks has been brilliant. Everyone has been so calm and I think you’ve seen that when we went behind, there hasn’t been much franticness, much ‘God, we are behind here, we need to do something special.’

“It’s been just get back to basics, stick to the process and what we know and it has worked.”

Casey enjoyed the bragging rights over his uncle Mossy Lawler and cousin Cullie Tucker when Munster got the better of Connacht last weekend, while a good few days for the 22-year-old was capped by inclusion in the Ireland squad for next month’s Autumn Series.

“It was grand to be fair,” Casey smiled. “I was with Mossy and Cullie on Sunday morning.

“Their kids were playing their first ever games for Shannon so I was out watching them so it was great to get the win over them and being able to slag them on Sunday morning.”

Having started three of Munster four games so far this season, Casey has benefitted from an extended run in the team, as he hopes to keep his place ahead of the returning Conor Murray for Saturday’s United Rugby Championship game against the Ospreys in Swansea.

The Limerick man is also developing his understanding with Joey Carbery, whom he is relishing playing alongside.

“I think he is class to be honest,” Casey added.

“Even in the summer, I got to play with him against the USA and that was brilliant.

“I’ve had the three games here with him so definitely forming a bond with him off the field as well as on the field. That’s the main part probably.

“Obviously, I wouldn’t have known him too well before he came down to Munster, then when he did come down I was injured for the first year, so didn’t get to play with him too much.

“He’ll definitely let me know when I have done something wrong and he’ll definitely let me know when I’ve done something right as well. He’s very good for that.”

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