Jack McGrath says getting games under his belt for Leinster is the best way to put himself in contention for an Ireland spot in the absence of the injured Cian Healy.
With Healy out for four to five months with a hamstring injury, McGrath is presented with an opportunity to stake his claim for the number one jersey for both Leinster and Ireland.
McGrath deputised extremely effectively during Ireland's successful Six Nations campaign, and, with the World Cup less than a year away, he seems the apparent heir in the absence of Healy.
Speaking to RTÉ Sport, McGrath called Healy “a world-class player” and said that it was important he play his own game as he sought to fill the void left by his injury.
“I’m just going to have to play my own game, not do anything too out of the ordinary because you don’t want to make mistakes,” he said.
“For Ireland, I’m not looking that far ahead, because there are two guys in Munster, a guy in Connacht and Ulster ready to take your spot.
“And with the Irish set-up, the managerial set-up, it’s based on performance not reputation. So for me it's just [a question of] getting games for Leinster under my belt and putting my hand up for selection.”
"There are two guys in Munster, a guy in Connacht and Ulster ready to take your spot" - Jack McGrath
Back in contention after a calf injury sustained in Leinster’s loss to Connacht two weeks ago, McGrath said he is ready for the mouth-watering inter-provincial game against Munster on Saturday.
McGrath said Munster would come to Dublin out to “prove a point” and that both provinces’ records so far this season of having won two and lost two means “it’s all up for grabs” at the weekend.
He agreed that the game being played in the Aviva Stadium mean that many of the Munster players would be more at home than if it was being played at the RDS.
“Most of the [Munster] lads, the Irish guys play in the Aviva the whole time, so [they’re] comfortable surroundings for them. And it’s probably going to be split 50-50 supporters-wise, so [the venue] doesn’t really make a difference. It’s going to be down to the fine margins.
“We do need to tidy up a few things from the weekend ourselves. Concentration-wise, we let Cardiff in for two soft tries, and I don’t think you can afford to not concentrate for 80 minutes against Munster.”