Munster winger Calvin Nash is looking to soar this Friday on Leeside

Munster winger Calvin Nash is looking to soar this Friday on Leeside
Munster's Calvin Nash with Dan Baker and Hanno Dirksen of Ospreys in a recent game. Picture: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

A LITTLE punt on Calvin Nash being a first try-scorer on Friday evening in Musgrave Park mightn’t be a bad idea.

The flying winger, by his own admission, loves playing in Cork on the fast pitch and he is hoping for a good game for himself and the fans.

“We look forward to every game really, but it will be nice to get down to Cork. It would be one of my favourite places to play. The Cork crowd are always great as well. It should be a fun game. It generally is quite expansive against the Kings. Something I would enjoy myself as well. Hopefully it will be a good game.

Picture: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo
Picture: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

“I would want the ball in my hand as much as I can with the dry weather. But we live in Ireland. Having the all-weather pitch down in Cork is brilliant. 

"The last thing I want to be doing is sliding around in the mud. I want the fast track. So I would be looking forward to it.” 

Nash has been getting more and more game time as the season has progressed and made his European bow against Ospreys in the final round of the Champions Cup. The experience of backs coach Stephen Larkham and Irish wing legend Keith Earls that is helping the young Limerick man to achieve his potential.

With two contrasting styles, both have a lot to offer young players in the squad says Nash.

“I have been learning a lot now in fairness, just the different plays and his (Larkham’s) outlook on the game. Little things, like his running lines. Little things, to have a mental switch in my own head. Things that I would be looking out for that I would never have thought of.

“I am enjoying learning his style of rugby and the way he wants to play. A lot of the lads are adapting really well to it. I still think we have a lot left in us.

“I grew up watching Earlsy as well, it is nice to play with him and learn off him. He would be the model player. He has been Ireland’s number one winger for, I’m not sure how long. He has even played for the Lions.

"I have my own style of play but at the same time there is no point not admiring what he has done and the way he does play the game. 

He is constantly learning as well and probably has one of the best work-rates along with (Andrew) Conway to really adapt their game and improve as players. I would model myself off both of them but at the same time I wouldn’t want to lose something that is the way I play as well.” 

Picture: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo
Picture: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Given the profile that Earls and Conway have in the game here and the fact that they will be out of the picture for Munster for the next few games, Nash sees this block of games as an opportunity to stake a claim for one of their spots or a spot on the bench.

“I really need to take my opportunities when they do come,” says Nash. “I will be learning from them when they are here. But when they are gone that is when I really need to put my hand up. I need to be able to stand up and give the same performance Earlsy would do if not better.” 

Having won his first cap at European level, the winger would have loved to have got more game time at the higher level but it was not to be due to Munster’s elimination.

There has been a three-week break since that game and that break has done wonders to recharge the batteries.

“It was bittersweet but at the same time we did have a big block of games as well. Rugby is really important to us but it is good sometimes to get away from it as well. 

"At the same time, it would have been nice to keep the momentum going after getting a great win against the Ospreys. Our focus now would be the Kings.

“We are constantly talking about a home semi-final. We really need to be winning these games and getting our bonus points. That would definitely be a big focus of ours now.”

Picture: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo
Picture: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

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