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30th May 2017

Tadhg Beirne speaks with complete, cold-blooded sense about his Ireland future

Fair play to him

Patrick McCarry

Asked about his international plans, after becoming a Guinness PRO12 champion, Tadhg Beirne had some more immediate ones in mind.

“Going to Vietnam on Monday… Krystle tonight!” he declared.

“Vietnam Monday and then I’ll probably come home for a few weeks to see the family.”

The Eadestown, Kildare native could probably pass through the Krystle night-spot unnoticed at plenty of times of his life but he may not be as fortunate in years to come. Given his current form, the 24-year-old should be in the Ireland squad for this summer’s tour of America and Japan.

Beirne is playing abroad, however, and he knows that won’t cut it for Ireland coach Joe Schmidt. He played on a decent Ireland U20 side with Radhg Furlong, JJ Hanrahan and Chris Farrell but, like the latter two, went abroad to find regular rugby.

He’s not upset about it – not one bit – and he knows what he has to do to rectify it. He commented:

“If I want to play for Ireland, I’ve to come home. That’s the reality, they don’t pick you outside it.

“Everyone wants to play for their country since they’ve been kids. Right now I’ve another year at Scarlets, I’m going to focus on that. Contract talks… we’ll look at it then.

“Right now my focus is with Scarlets for another year. Right now I’m going to enjoy this, but we’ll look to do the PRO12, retain it.”

Cool, calm, cold-blooded.

Here is a man that knows what he wants and what he has to do. He may have ambitions to represent his country but he owes a lot to the Scarlets side that gave him a chance when his professional rugby career seemed finished at just 23.

“I’ve been asked a few times whether it’s a point to prove,” Beirne mused.

“Not really… there’s a little bit of an element about that.

“I’ve been lucky with my injuries and so I didn’t get my opportunity [at Leinster]. My ability has always been there. I’ve developed week-in, week-out since I got here. When I cam here I just played my game and luckily I played really well.”

He certainly is. It is a shame that Ireland won’t get to take a bang in-form lock on tour but Beirne is young and there is plenty of time yet.

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