Every coach has their own way of managing their squad and team selection but in the case of Munster's John Hodnett last week you would have to wonder why he was not given another chance.

Across a season you have to manage the resources available to you. This is something that Leinster do particularly well while still dominating throughout the year.

They use somewhere between 50-60 players year on year meaning that they delve deep into their academy which is commendable considering some of the scorelines they put up against opposition teams through the season.

Admittedly, their hand has been forced quite a bit in recent years with many internationals away at any given time.

But the system works because they can still get the results they need which has been key to their league success in recent years.

Other provinces have become much more capable of giving their younger talent some game time in the last two to three years but it doesn’t always come with the guarantee of winning.

Two games ago, Hodnett was given his chance in a home game against the Southern Kings in Musgrave Park. Growing up in Cork meant this would be an easy one for the college student to find the motivation to play to the best of his ability - if lining out for Munster isn’t already enough!

The ground suited his fast style of play and his low centre of gravity allows him to bounce through contact like a pin ball. He took his chance by scoring a try on his debut and he earned a man of the match award on his first run out for Munster. Surely, this would be a sign of what’s to come from the youngster.

John Hodnett runs in to score a try against Southern Kings

This is where the confusion starts for me. Munster followed that record win at home with an away game against Zebre which is always an opportunity to give less experienced players a run, despite the Italian teams becoming more capable of late.

Hodnett was instead playing a game for UCC in Temple Hill versus Cork Con in miserably wet and windy conditions.

Don’t get me wrong, one swallow does not make a summer and the AIL is the perfect place for young promising players like Hodnett to sharpen their tools but, with the fixture in question for Munster it could have been a great opportunity for the back row to build on his momentum.

In any sport, players want to and need to be playing consistently. In my own experience, you play better when you can string a few games together and you find your flow a lot easier.

When I broke into the Munster team, it was the Zebre game that started a run of games for the first time in my career.

It could easily have stopped there but I was selected for the next four or five matches which gave me confidence, allowed me to grow into the starting role and it helped me to believe that I was suited for the level.

Had I been given the chance to start and then dropped out of the squad completely the next week I would have been scratching my head wondering what I needed to do to get in the next time.

It’s clear that the selection in these phases of the season isn’t based on form in the previous match. What would prompt Hodnett to go into training with the highest motivational levels if he knew that it didn’t matter what he did, it was a matter of squad rotation and keeping guys happy enough to build out the squad.

I understand this is all part of the process in professional set ups but as a Munster fan and an avid follower of Irish and provincial rugby I would much prefer to see the West Cork man get another shot in the Zebre game instead of someone like Chris Cloete when everyone knows what he brings to the game.

John Hodnett, right, and Diarmuid Barron during Munster Rugby squad training

We could have learned about Hodnett in an away game on a different surface and whether he could back up one man of the match performance with another positive display. We can still only speculate as to whether he is the real deal or not.

I get that it is a squad game and every player needs their share of game time. For more experienced players I wouldn’t feel as strongly about it because they know they will play a certain amount of games across the season.

With it being Hodnett’s first run out for the province the plan could have been altered slightly to give him a second run at finding his feet before the squad is bolstered by the return of the internationals to build towards the end of the league considering there is no European rugby left for Munster this year.

Homegrown talent is invaluable. We always envy Leinster’s conveyor belt. The other three provinces keep an eye on anybody that is not afforded game time in Leinster to pounce on an opportunity to sign them up but the reality is that there is loads of talent at home if we use them when the chances arise. This isn’t a complaint against foreign players.

Imports to the Irish game have always contributed to the provinces that they came to and help to develop our players, game plans and perspective on the game but our own guys are quite capable of stepping up to this level.