MUNSTER HOOKER MIKE Sherry remains hopeful that he can play some part in Ireland’s three-game series this month.
Both Sherry and his chief rival for Munster’s number two jersey, Damien Varley, were overlooked for Ireland duty in favour of the naturalised Richardt Strauss and, after Rory Best was ruled out through injury, Sean Cronin.
Sherry, was adamant that he felt no ill will towards Leinster’s South African stalwart, saying:
“It’s in the rule-book, so I don’t think they’re doing anything wrong. In fairness to (Richardt) Strauss, he’s played very well over the last two or three years so best of luck to him – I’m not going to say anything controversial.”
Despite, being unable to nail down a place in Munster’s starting line-up, Sherry is hoping a big performance against Cardiff Blues tonight can earn him enough recognition to be called in for Ireland’s ‘A’ fixture against Fiji in Thomond Park.
“You’re always disappointed. You want to make that squad. I was there over the summer and I loved being there so the goal is to get back in. I know the competition is fairly fierce up there (in Carton House).
“(Rory) Best is gone now, it seems, for a few weeks so I’m looking at the Fiji game. Hopefully they might rest one of the lads for that and I might get in.”
Before that ‘might’ can become a reality, though, the 24-year-old is only too aware that he must take control of the jersey at provincial level. He speaks diplomatically about the importance of squad rotation and commends Rob Penney on giving him identical opportunities to Varley this season.
However, he soon adds that it is imperative that he or Varley take command of the role if either are to force a way into Declan Kidney’s Six Nations plan.
“Definitely one of us need to grab the opportunity and have two or three outstanding games to get in front of the other. I think both of us are playing very well and making it difficult for Rob.” Said the Limerick man, adding: “I think one of us just needs to grab it and run with it.”
Sherry is the man given that opportunity against a Cardiff Blues side leaking clean breaks and points tonight, but Sherry insists the pressure on the final game before an international series is no different to the pressure he places on himself to perform week-in, week-out.
“That’s always there. You want to impress and get into that shop window for international (consideration) if you get an opportunity to start, you want to make the most of it. If there’s international games or camp going on that you could get called into, then that’s all the better, but you have to make the most of it here.”