Kilcoyne continues to impress Penney
Rob Penney’s comments after Munster’s weekend game against Racing Métro was an elevation Dave Kilcoyne both appreciated and never saw coming.
Talking about the prop going to Australia on the Lions Tour was a little out of left field, but it was still a measure of how the Limerick loosehead has impressed his coach this season.
That’s a rise rarely seen in Munster, a province known for its large personality and a history of paying dues. At 24, Kilcoyne hardly fits the profile, but he’s legit okay.
The sharp-eyed would have seen reports in April of last year warning Kilcoyne would make his first start for Munster in their PRO12 tie away to Scarlets. He did and his Heineken Cup debut came six months later in October.
An Ireland debut the following month as a temporary replacement for Cian Healy against South Africa was followed by a start in the non-capped friendly against Fiji and a second cap against Argentina, again as a replacement. “Killer” couldn’t be kept down.
“I actually didn’t get a chance because we were up in camp,” said Kilcoyne, explaining how he hadn’t heard the Penney comments after Racing. “We had to be in for nine, so as soon as the game ended I just met my family and hit the road.”
Maybe just as well, although, Kilcoyne arrives into the media scene far removed from chasing compliments.
“I don’t think I’m ahead of my own ambitions. Obviously, every professional rugby player wants to be playing for their country. You’re probably in the wrong game if that’s not your overall goal. I’m probably doing what I thought I’d do, but I just want to try and keep pushing forward,” he said.
Another trait of the Munster gene pool is never talk yourself down unless it’s going to improve the position.
“Try and make the starting team, or make it as competitive as possible and as tough a decision for the coaches as possible,” said the Ardscoil Rís graduate. “I’m loving it. We have the Saxons now on Friday, that’s the next step and I’m just really looking forward to that game.”
Healy and Tom Court are obvious hurdles, Healy’s possession of the shirt firmly held at present.
“Obviously they’re both very good players, they wouldn’t be there if they weren’t,” said Kilcoyne.
“I’d more just focus on myself and try to keep improving myself, and as I said, try to give the coaches a headache. Other than that the more competitive your squad is, it’s better for the whole team.
“If you have three or even four players going for the one position, which they are here, it just brings the best out of players.”