Sherry slowly moving up Irish pecking order

Munster’s Mike Sherry has edged closer to earning another call up to Declan Kidney’s Irish squad next week.

A combination of injury to Leinster’s Richardt Strauss and illness to his Munster colleague Damian Varley have helped bring him to the selectors’ attention, but Sherry is taking nothing for granted in his quest for international recognition.

So far, he has been a bit-part player for Ireland. He was brought in as cover for Rory Best at the 2011 World Cup but did not feature during this summer’s tour of New Zealand.

Since then Strauss has jumped up the pecking order alongside Best. But a recent run of starts and much more game time have pushed Sherry firmly back into the spotlight.

“Well I’ve got a run of games, it’s just the way it worked out, Varls got sick for the Cardiff match and from there I just got a bit of a run of games so I’m obviously happy, the more I play the happier I am.”

Does he figure it puts him more in the international frame?

“Obviously when you have the starting jersey you’re seen as number one. If you’re sharing it you’re competing with more people, but I still wouldn’t discount Varls because I compete with him down here on a daily basis.

“It’s certainly not my jersey, I’m just getting a bit of a run of games and so far I’m enjoying it.”

What Sherry didn’t enjoy was being on the losing side in Munster’s Heineken Cup clash with Saracens at Vicarage Road on Sunday.

“That was very disappointing. We targeted a result over there but we knew it was going to be tough and it was pretty much a role reversal from the week before.

“Still, we have two games where hopefully we can qualify off the back of those results. Hopefully it’s not the end of the world.”

Small errors and a failure to capitalise on 25 attacking phases proved crucial to the outcome.

“We had a look [at the video]. We had some bits of detail that we were quite poor on, especially in the green zone, we had a lot of lineouts and a good platform but didn’t build off it through mistakes or not being in the right place. It would have been ideal to get something out of the string of 25 phases because it was a long time going through the phases and it took a lot out of us.

“You would normally put your house on Rog [Ronan O’Gara] to slot that but he can’t do it every time.”

Sherry is under no illusions that his side must quickly put the disappointment behind them as they prepare for Saturday’s RaboDirect Pro12 clash with Connacht in Galway.

“There are a lot of sore bodies but you can’t feel sorry for yourself or not get up for it. They were once upon a time viewed as the whipping boys, but not any more. We know we’re in for a right battle. Our set-piece has got to be good and our desire has to be there, we have to want it more than they do.”


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