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Leinster back Joey Carbery reveals that a chat with All Blacks legend Dan Carter has helped persuade him not to follow Jordi Murphy out the exit door to improve his Ireland call-up chances.
New Zealand-born Carbery is one of Ireland’s biggest prospects for the future in his preferred role as fly-half, but is behind Jonny Sexton in the pecking order for both Leinster and Ireland.
He was given a rare run-out at No.10 in Sexton’s absence in last month’s Autumn International win against Fiji at the Aviva Stadium, but suffered a broken wrist that will mean he is missing from Sunday’s Champions Cup clash with Exeter at Sandy Park, a game that is live on BT Sport 2, [kick-off 5.30pm]
Back-row Murphy confirmed he would be heading north on a two-year deal next summer.
Leinster have seven Ireland back-rows on their books and Murphy was concerned after originally being left out of Ireland's 38-man squad for the Autumn Internationals.
Competition for places is a struggle that Carbery knows all about at Leinster, but he is prepared to stay and fight for his club and country future.
He met with Racing 92's Carter, who is the record points scorer in international rugby, for a coffee in Paris and the New Zealander offered some advice about the way ahead.
Speaking as an ambassador
for Europcar, Carbery, who hopes to be fit for the Six Nations opener with France on 3 February, said: “We met him at the Ireland v Denmark soccer game. It was pretty
"He was talking about how to control a team and that it comes in time. He was saying how nervous and shy he was in his first three or four years playing.
"He said how good it was to learn from Carlos Spencer and Andrew Mehrtens because he started off playing 12 for the first three or four years.
"He said playing in a different position can be a good thing because you learn from others.
"That gave me confidence of playing 15 and playing with Johnny (Sexton), and learning how to take responsibility.
"He is one of the best 10s ever, to hear that from him is pretty cool."
Former Ireland head coach Eddie O’Sullivan added to the debate recently by hinting that Carbery should move on because he will not get enough games for Leinster.
"I didn’t think too much of it, to be honest,”
Carbery responded. “The opinions that really count are in the environment. Leinster is the best environment to be learning in, behind Johnny [Sexton] and Rob [Kearney]. I’m learning as much as I can in Leinster as I would anywhere.
“So it depends where the team needs me. I like to split between the two but if Leinster need me at 15 for the next three or four years I am more than willing to do it.”
Leinster team to face Exeter: Rob Kearney, Fergus McFadden, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, Isa Nacewa, Johnny Sexton, Luke McGrath; Cian Healy, Seán Cronin, Tadhg Furlong, Devin Toner, Scott Fardy, Rhys Ruddock, Seán O'Brien, Jack Conan.
Replacements: James Tracy, Jack McGrath, Michael Bent, James Ryan, Josh van der Flier, Jamison Gibson-Park, Ross Byrne, Jordan Larmour.
The third round of the European Rugby Champions Cup takes place this weekend, and you can watch the best of the action on BT Sport 2 on the eir Sport package. On Saturday, 9 December, Munster take on Premiership side Leicester Tigers at Thomond Park on BT Sport 2 [kick off 7.45pm]. On Sunday, 10 December, Harlequins host Ulster [BT Sport 3 kick-off 1pm], while Top 14 side La Rochelle meet Wasps at the same time [BT Sport2, kick-off 1pm]. Later in the day, Premiership side Saracens host Top 14 side Clermont on BT Sport 2 [kick-off 3.15pm], and Premiership side Exeter Chiefs meet Leinster [BT Sport 2, kick-off 5.30pm]
Image: Inpho/ Dan Sheridan
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