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Rugby

27th Apr 2023

Calvin Nash pushing for Ireland World Cup chance after great season in Munster red

Patrick McCarry

It is amazing to see what the belief of others can do to fuel your fire.

Heading into this season, the most Munster games Calvin Nash had played in a season was the Covid-disrupted 2019/20 campaign (10 appearances, eight starts). He was a squad player that had flashes but struggled to string together consistent starts.

Back in September, he was called into the Emerging Ireland squad for the mini tour to play some club sides in South Africa. At the time, many grumbled – with a degree of justification – that the tour was undervaluing the United Rugby Championship and a waste of provincial playing resources.

Out of all the players that benefitted from the trip to South Africa, Nash is just behind Jack Crowley, Tom Stewart and Max Deegan. All impressed on tour and have either made Test outings or been called into Ireland squads since.

On the latest House of Rugby [LISTEN from 9:30 below] the form of Calvin Nash was discussed after another positive Munster result in South Africa. The panel discussed the chances of Nash and Jacob Stockdale being involved in Ireland’s World Cup plans.

Calvin NashCalvin Nash during an Ireland rugby media conference at IRFU High Performance Centre. (Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile)

Calvin Nash as a World Cup bolter?

As we have previously discussed on this site, Andy Farrell looks to have three back three certainties – Mack Hansen, James Lowe, Hugo Keenan – with another two slots on the go and Jimmy O’Brien the backline Swiss Army knife.

The likes of Keith Earls, Andrew Conway, Rob Baloucoune, Jacob Stockdale and Jordan Larmour will all be backing themselves to make a splash if they get the World Cup training squad call-ups. Nash will be keeping his phone charged and cared for, too.

The 25-year-old has 15 appearances for Munster, this season, as well as two for Emerging Ireland and another start for Ireland ‘A’ and an All Blacks ‘XV’ at The RDS. He has played all 15 games for Munster in the ’14’ jersey and has scored six tries, with four coming in his last five outings [including a crucial score against Sharks in last weekend’s drawn match].

“Calvin Nash had an outstanding game,” said Greg O’Shea. “Himself and Shane Daly seem to have locked down those two wing positions at Munster.

“His try was unreal. He went around Werner Kok – grubbered it up the line, went around him and scored. Werner Kok’s not a slow guy, and he’s a smart guy, so it was something else.”

O’Shea asked Lindsay Peat and Conor O’Brien, two former Leinster stars, if Calvin Nash was ‘playing consistently enough to get into the Ireland squad?’

“Definitely,” said O’Brien. “He should be in contention, anyway, to get into the wider squad then get in there and show what he can do. Watching him these past few weeks, he’s been going well and he’s a solid player, which goes a long way.”

A chance to show what he can do again. That is all Calvin Nash will be asking for.

WATCH HOUSE OF RUGBY:

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