Impressive first Munster start for Craig Casey

After 80 minutes of Rugby and a 19-14 win on the road, Craig Casey had completed his full debut in the red of Munster, no doubt fulfilling another goal in what was an excellent 2019 for the 20-year-old scrum-half.

Guinness PRO14, The Sportsground, Galway, Co. Galway 21/12/2019 Connacht vs Munster Munster’s Craig Casey Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

It wasn’t long after the final whistle in Galway when Munster Head Coach Johann van Graan was full of praise for the Limerick man.

“He’s a small man with a massive heart.”

“He prepared well, he’s been waiting for the start for quite a while and he knew after this European block he was going to get his shot.”

The Shannon RFC clubman was a leading figure in Noel McNamara’s Ireland U20’s team during 2019, which included winning Grand Slam title in March as well as playing at a U20’s World Cup in Argentina over the summer.

Under-20 Six Nations Championship Round 1, Irish Independent Park, Cork 1/2/2019 Ireland U20’s vs England U20’s Ireland’s Craig Casey and Olly Adkins of England Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Saturday’s victory now puts Munster top of Conference B in the Guinness Pro 14 and four points clear of second-placed Connacht.

Van Graan was keen to highlight some of the other aspects to Casey’s play in an impressive first start for the province.

“Some of the things that people don’t see — like managing the forwards, I think he did that pretty well. The way he attacked and defended off the scrums was very good.

“I’m really thrilled for him. We had 18 guys not available for selection for various reasons so we knew we needed to perform well and all credit to the playing group, I thought our play went very well.”

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