Munster’s Sam Arnold hopes for another winning display

Centre believes his time at Ireland’s Six Nations camp could lead to international honours

Munster’s Sam Arnold scores a try against Zebre at Thomond Park, Limerick. Photograph: ©INPHO/Bryan Keane

Munster’s Sam Arnold scores a try against Zebre at Thomond Park, Limerick. Photograph: ©INPHO/Bryan Keane

 

Munster centre Sam Arnold believes the experience of being involved in Joe Schmidt’s rigorous Ireland camp prior to the Six Nations is a stepping stone to international honours.

Arnold gave a superb display and scored two tries for Munster in their 33-5 bonus-point Pro14 victory over Zebre at Thomond Park last weekend.

The 21-year-old former Ulster back travelled with the Ireland squad to Spain for their warm-weather Six Nations training camp, and he was also involved in the squad’s preparations at Carton House for the French game.

“It was a really good experience. It was great to be up there and get a feel for the environment during a match week, the guys were unbelievable. They helped me out a lot up there,” said Arnold.

“It was good to have the older heads around, like Murray and Earlsie, there as well. If I had a question they would be the first lads I would go to and ask. It was awesome to have them and obviously Pete [O’Mahony] as well. There is no better man to ask than Pete as well.

“I had a good chat with Andy Farrell when I was there. I have spoken to Joe. I think I know what Joe wants me to do going forward.

“I sat down with Andy when I was there and we discussed what I need to do to try and take my game to the next level, so I would have that in the back of my mind when I am playing, 100 per cent.”

Arnold, who also starred for Ireland at U20 level, has scored five tries in seven appearances for Munster this season.

Munster travel to take on Cardiff Blues at Cardiff Arms Park on Saturday and Arnold is determined to put in another noteworthy display to keep his place in the team.

“It is always nice to get a couple of tries. I was actually pretty disappointed that I turned the ball over a few too many times,” said Arnold.

“The main thing for me is that we are winning and that we are getting bonus points. We are working with new combinations as well at the minute, so it is great to see guys getting chances.

“[There] are three international players I’m competing with: Jaco Taute, Chris Farrell and Rory Scannell. They are quality players, but we would be a very close-knit team as well.

“Guys know if they slip up there is someone there to slot straight back in and I think it is important to have that kind of pressure environment within the squad.

“You look at the depth of the French teams and a team like Saracens for example . . . I think we are starting to get that now. It is important to have that competition, but I think it would be rare that five of us are fit at the same time.”

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