Munster flanker, Fineen Wycherley, is determined to enjoy the opportunities that come his way with the province’s Irish contingent on Six Nations duty.
The back row is currently a very competitive line at the moment but a mixture of players in Ireland camp and injuries has ensured that the Bantry native retains his spot for the province’s PRO14 clash with Ospreys in Liberty Stadium this weekend.
Wycherley is one of a number of young players to get the nod with Calvin Nash and Jeremy Loughman also named to start.
The 21-year-old is determined to put his own stamp on the six jersey while he has an opportunity.
“With Pete [Peter O’Mahony], CJ [Stander], Tadhg [Beirne] who’s injured at the moment, I’ve got a few chances and I’ve been lucky with the way they’ve gone with the performances, I’ve been able to back it up.
“With those lads away, there’s a lot of young fellas who get a chance and this is our window, our opportunity to make a statement and hopefully get a start in the big games coming up.”
Munster face two tough tests in Wales firstly against Ospreys before travelling to take on Scarlets. With the Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final just around the corner, players are itching to prove themselves in order to be part of the squad for that trip to Edinburgh.
While acknowledging that, Wycherley is also aware that he must enjoy his chance when it comes along.
“Of course, when you’re young and you get a chance, all you want to do is perform. It comes with pressure but it’s excitement as well, you want to show well but at the same time, you have to relax and enjoy it. Other than that, it’s make it too difficult for yourself.
“Of course there’s pressure to perform but when these guys are away and we get our opportunity, we’ve just got to take it. I’ve been lucky enough over the last couple of weeks.”
Munster returned to PRO14 action after a short break last week against Southern Kings and it was a comprehensive victory from the province, running in seven tries in the 43-0 win. Despite the result, Wycherley is adamant that the forwards cannot afford to start as slowly as they did in Cork last week.
“Ospreys are going to be hurting over last week’s defeat against Ulster. For us, it’s just about starting well, that’s our main focus this week, and hopefully getting a win over there.
“They’re a big, physical pack and we’re going to have to match them up front. In the first half, we have to start better as a forward pack. Our back three were excellent last week and we have to match that this week.”