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06th Aug 2023

Ciarán Frawley’s post-match comment reflects stark reality of what is to come

Patrick McCarry

Ciaran Frawley

“We both want to push on and get to a World Cup.”

Calvin Nash and Ciaran Frawley have been international roommates for years now, whether it was underage, Emerging Ireland or the senior stuff. On Saturday, against Italy, the roommates became Ireland internationals No. 1154 and No. 1156.

Along with Tom Stewart [No. 1155], Frawley and Nash made their Ireland Test debuts during the second half of a 33-17 win over Italy that gets their team up and running towards the World Cup.

“It is unbelievable and very special,” Frawley reflected after the match. “It has been since November 2021 that I’ve been in and out of camps, but to finally get it… it was definitely worth the wait. I got the nod at half-time with Jimmy O’Brien getting the bit of a knock. Thankfully he’s all right but it was nice to get the time I got.”

“Last November, I was probably close enough to getting capped,” Frawley reflected, “and I picked up an injury, which meant I was sidelined for four months. I went back into a Six Nations camp and was on the outskirts of that, so I probably knew I wasn’t going to get capped. My priority was to get back to Leinster, play well then try get into this summer camp and aim for the World Cup. Delighted I got it tonight and hopefully there will be more to come, please God.”

“My whole family was here, a load of friends as well. Friends from home from the United States. My girlfriend was in Montauk – she flew home, so it was brilliant to see her, and very special.”

Ciaran FrawleyIreland players line up before the Bank of Ireland Nations Series match against Italy. (Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile)

Ciaran Frawley on selection challenge ahead

As is tradition, each of the new caps are supposed to sing a debut song in front of the senior squad in the post-match dressing room. Ciaran Frawley and Calvin Nash had not had that honour yet when we spoke with them at the press briefing.

“We haven’t done them yet but Mick [Kearney, team manager] thinks that the three of us should do something together,” said Nash. “We’re all a bit rattled by that!”

Asked what song the trio were planning on signing together, Nash uttered, “Ain’t no [sunshine/mountain high enough?]” before Frawley cut in, “It’ll be a surprise!”

The light stuff aside, there was one comment from Frawley that jumped out. Ireland are bringing a 42-man squad to Portugal, this week, for a warm weather camp. There are only two games left, on August 19 and 26, before the World Cup squad is pared down to 33 players. Ciaran Frawley commented:

“It’s very competitive in there. It’s hard to believe they’re going to drop another nine players.

“At the moment, it’s about trying to put your best foot forward and selected on the games that are coming around the corner – focusing on what is coming. You’ll obviously have the big picture at the back of your mind but if you get ahead of yourself, you might not perform on the big day.

“My goal for this week anyway, after Andy gave us the nod on Monday, which helped settle the nerves, was to make sure you put in a good performance. That way, you put your best foot forward for selection.”

“I was similar enough,” chimed Nash. “I just feel like, regardless of what happens these next few weeks, as long as I’m putting my best foot forward, I can be happy and definitely know I developed as a player. But, naturally, we’ve just got our first cap now. We both want to push on and get to a World Cup, for sure, and get a few more caps.

“That’s the aim but all we can do is our best.”

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