After making his debut in Ireland’s 12-16 defeat to the Springboks in 2012, Munster front row David Kilcoyne feels Ireland need to continue where they left off in their successful 6 Nations campaign when they welcome South Africa on Saturday.
Kilcoyne was a temporary replacement for Cian Healy in that game and he believes he needs to deliver if called upon.
“One hundred percent. It’s all about building performance. We’ve got to keep building week on week and become a consistent side. That is the mark of a really good team – one that can do it consistently, week to week.
“I’ve got to deliver on my side of the scrum. There’s a saying here ‘Every man does his own job and tries to make the next man’s job easier’. I’ll be 100% scrum-focused and I’ll be trying to deliver as much as I can around the field to help the team.”
After making his debut in that November series, he added a second cap against Australia two weeks later. Four replacement appearances in the 2013 6 Nations followed, with his test caps also gained in tours to USA/Canada and Argentina in the summer. But being thrown in at 23 two years ago, the former UL Bohs youngster feels players need to be physically ready to make the grade at international level as well as impressing at Provincial level.
“(The 2012 debut) was obviously a special occasion, first cap against South Africa. All my family were up there. There were a bit of nerves as it was a huge occasion but I’ll never forget it. I don’t think (that experience) helps. It’s a new game, coming into Saturday two years down the line. I’m a bit more goal-focused now.
“Obviously when you’re playing South Africa and it is your first cap it can take away your attention from the task at hand. Twenty-three isn’t that old to be thrown in as a prop. It depends. You have to be physically able for it and playing well with your province to play for Ireland. I suppose that is down to the coaches and I couldn’t really comment on that.”
Kilcoyne has put an early season hamstring injury behind him as he helped Munster secure two wins from their first two games in the European Champions Cup. In a world cup year, preparation and laying down a platform for selection in less than 12 months time begins against the 2007 World Champions.
“South Africa are incredibly physical inside. They have brought a lot more to their game of late and are really running it from all angles. They’re huge. They’re a good side and it is going to be a massive challenge.
“They are a quality side and they have evolved. They are not just a maul, scrum side, they are running from everywhere and have threats all over the park. We have a big test ahead of us.”
Cillian O Conchuir, Pundit Arena.