Calvin Nash was as surprised as anyone to discover that his try against Connacht at the weekend was his first for Munster at Thomond Park.
It’s not as if the winger has scored that many – the opening score in the 24-17 win over Connacht was his eighth in 40 appearances – but the tries have been spread across six seasons.
The former Crescent College player grew up in Limerick hoping to one day play for Munster at Thomond but having played so much rugby for school, club, Munster and Irish age group sides, he didn’t realise the significance of his feat when Craig Casey put him over in the right corner.
“It’s always nice to score some tries, but I’d always be on to Craig about giving me that ball. In training he doesn’t really give it to me! I don’t have to give him stick now for not giving me the ball.
“I actually didn’t know that at the time, someone said it to me over the week, and I was like, ‘I’ve definitely scored a try at Thomond Park, I have to have?’. It’s class, I was surprised with the stat!”
It’s turning into a good season for the 25-year old who featured for Emerging Ireland in Bloemfontein and then played for Ireland A against an All Blacks selection.
The input of his fellow Young Munster clubman Mike Prendergast after his return to the province from France has benefited Nash, who is enjoying the direction of their attack coach.
“I think Prendy coming in, the game suits me a bit more and I feel like I’m a bit more involved, and I feel like that’s kind of the way Ireland are going as well, they want their wingers more involved.
“That’s kind of been a focus for me, being involved more, whether it’s showing up as an option off 10 or nine, just trying to be in different positions all the time.”
The feedback from Andy Farrell and the other Irish coaches has also been positive and Nash is now keen to put all that into his displays for Munster and challenge for full international honours.
“I’m happy that my form is along the same as the teams I’ve been in, and I feel I’ve learned a lot; from Emerging Ireland through to getting the call-up to the main squad with Ireland, and coming back here, I’m trying to put everything I learned into practice.
“It was all positive really, but Faz’s (Farrell’s) main thing for me was what am I going to do with the experience, now that I’ve games coming back into Munster and how am I going to use my knowledge, and is he going to see that on the pitch, is it going to be reflected there and in some of Munster’s performances am I going to affect what way the games go?
“That’s the main thing that he was on about for me. Post Ireland A, Faz said it showed the level the players had to get to and everyone should reflect on how they could get better.”