Munster's Joey Carbery: ‘Rugby is almost like a religion’ in Limerick

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

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Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

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ckinsella@limerickleader.ie

Munster's Joey Carbery: ‘Rugby is almost like a religion’ in Limerick

Munster out-half Joey Carbery eases past Zander Fagerson, of Glasgow Warriors, in their Guinness Pro14 clash at Scotstoun on Friday

NEW out-half Joey Carbery believes he has made the ‘right move’ in swapping life at Leinster for Munster and Limerick.

Ireland international Carbery has made two appearances off the bench for Munster in the opening rounds of the Guinness Pro14 and is in line to start Friday night’s crucial fixture with Ospreys at Musgrave Park, 7.35pm.

Asked why he had chosen to swap Leinster for Munster this summer, Carbery told his first press briefing at UL on Monday: “It was a tricky enough time. I suppose there were a few options given to me. I met with Johann (van Graan) after we played them in the RDS and I met with him again then.

“We kinda just chatted. I felt it was the best option for me. Obviously I wanted to be playing more and kinda get out of the shadow of Johnny (Sexton). 

“I'm very happy with the move. I'm loving it down there and I've no second guesses or anything, which shows that I made the right move.

“I'm really enjoying it. It's a great environment to be in. Everyone is pretty hungry to improve and get going into the season. There is a pretty exciting buzz around the place, especially coming into the season.”

Carbery said he has been struck by the number of people he sees wearing Munster clothing since he arrived in Limerick.

Asked to compare what it is like living in Limerick compared to Dublin, Carbery said: “Nearly every second guy you walk past is wearing some sort of Munster kit down here. I think it’s great, I think it’s cool. People are coming up and shaking your hand and saying ‘welcome’ and I’ve been welcomed across the board.

“Dublin is getting a lot bigger in rugby as well but it’s almost like a religion down here in some places.”

Carbery said he appreciated that he needed to fight for the starting number 10 jersey at Munster along with the province’s remaining out-halves.

"I wouldn't expect to be just chucked in straight away. Any good team really, has good players everywhere. I knew that wasn't going to be any different down here. You have to work very hard and hopefully if you are lucky enough to be in the 23, you can show what you got. Everyone has to work hard, no one is guaranteed anything."

Twenty two-year-old Carbery faces a quick return to Dublin at the start of next month when Munster travel to the Aviva Stadium to face arch rivals Leinster.

Looking ahead to the big Irish derby, Carbery said: “I suppose it will be strange playing against a team I used to play for. We just have to treat it as another game. At the end of day, it's a game of rugby, so we have to go out and try and beat them and get more points than them.

“It will be exciting obviously, going back up to the Aviva (Stadium) and stuff and going into the other dressing room. I think it's going to be a real test of where we are in the season. It's going to be a big game. It's always a big game, there is always a massive rivalry between the two."