Joey Carbery: 'I love it down here at Munster'

Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

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Colm Kinsella, Rugby Correspondent

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ckinsella@limerickleader.ie

Joey Carbery: 'I love it down here at Munster'

Munster out-half Joey Carbery is set to face his old team Leinster in Saturday's Guinness PRO14 semi-final at the RDS, Dublin, 2.30pm

OUT-HALF Joey Carbery returns to Dublin this weekend to face a familiar foe, insisting the potential within the Munster squad is ‘endless really.’

Carbery recently signed a new two-year contract extension with Munster less than a year after making his move to the southern province from Leinster on a two-year deal.

Twenty three-year-old Carbery’s new deal with Munster will keep him at the province until at least June 2022.

Asked at Munster’s weekly press briefing at UL what it would mean to reach a Guinness PRO14 final this season, Carbery said: “It'd be huge, obviously I've signed on for another three years. I love it down here and I'm really excited. The potential for this team is endless really.

“We're working hard to get a taste for silverware, I know how much it would spur us on to learn more and improve more. It's huge for us now that we go out and put in a performance on Saturday.”

Carbery revealed that the decision to commit to Munster for two further seasons was an easy one to make.

“Yeah, very easy, I love it down here. I love the people, they've made me feel very welcome and I'm loving playing rugby down here as well.

“So, look, the potential is roof-less – we can get wherever we want to. It will take work, it will take time but it's something we've definitely got.

“Both parties were pretty keen on it happening (signing contract extension). From a personal side, for Munster to want me for another three years is pretty cool, especially after one year for them to have the courage in me to keep me on.

“I'm settled here. My parents live about an hour away, so it's not bad at all for me - I don't have to get on a plane to go home, which is great.”

Twelve months ago, Carbery was in the Leinster squad preparing for a Guinness Pro14 semi-final clash with Munster at the RDS. Now he is hoping to inspire Munster to a rare win over their fierce interprovincial rivals in Dublin.

“I suppose, really, having played for Leinster it is funny playing against them. 

“Some of them would be really good mates of mine, but at the end of the day I've got to go out and do my job and I'm doing it for the side I want to be doing it for.

“It's hugely exciting, playing in the semi-final of the PRO14 is huge - it doesn't come around every day, so I'm really looking forward to it and hopefully we get a good performance.”

Carbery is likely to come up against Leinster out-half Johnny Sexton in Saturday’s semi-final. The pair also went head-to-head in the provinces’ feisty Guinness Pro14 regular season clash at Thomond Park last December.

“It is always good to play against one of the best so, ya, look, whoever gets picked this weekend it will be good to play against.”

Carbery admitted that it had been difficult to miss out on playing for Munster in their recent Heineken Champions Cup semi-final defeat to Saracens due to his hamstring injury.

“Yeah, it's tough. You've worked with the lads all year, the times you want to be out there are the best times and it's hard to sit and watch on the sidelines knowing that you're so close and then  you know yourself that you could go out and hurt it again.

“But, look, I had to get it right. I'm feeling in a good place now and hopefully it's a good week ahead. We're pretty excited as a team.”