Overall, Joey Carbery is happy with his first season at Munster.
The 23-year-old made his highly publicised move to the southern province from Leinster last summer with seeking regular game time at out-half the primary reason for the switch.
It didn’t take long for him to settle into Limerick life as a number of eye-catching performances in the pivotal out-half position soon made him a fan favourite around Thomond and Musgrave Park.
However, his season did end in disappointment. A hamstring injury sustained in Ireland training during the Six Nations would ultimately lead to just 108 minutes of rugby for the rest of the season.
He made a return against Edinburgh in the Champions Cup quarter-final but was removed after just 36 minutes when the hamstring problem returned. His final appearance would be the PRO14 semi-final defeat to Leinster at the RDS.
“Yeah, I was pretty happy with it,” Carbery said at the launch of year two of ‘You’ve Got This’, also unveiling the new blueberry flavour Avonmore Protein Milk.
“Obviously, the hamstring injury towards the end was pretty disappointing. I loved it down there and I think the potential within the squad is huge. So, yeah, it was a really good first year and obviously, it was annoying losing the two semi-finals but I think that’s going to keep driving us on more than anything.”
The immediate focus now for Carbery is getting himself ready for the 2019 World Cup in Japan which begins in September.
Ireland have already begun preparations at their base in Carton House for rugby’s showpiece tournament.
However, once Ireland’s involvement in that tournament ends, Carbery will be back to Munster duty and there will be some new faces around the High-Performance Centre at the University of Limerick.
The shock departures of Felix Jones and Jerry Flannery from the coaching ticket led to the swift appointment of highly experienced duo Stephen Larkham and Graham Rowntree.
“Obviously, both with what their previous teams have done, they’ve done pretty well. You can see their influences in the teams, so, it’s exciting. It’s great to see those type of calibre of coaches coming into Munster because it just shows from both sides of the coin that everyone is pretty ambitious and willing to go that extra bit which is great.”
From Carbery’s perspective, Larkham’s appointment is particularly interesting as the former Wallabies coach had a distinguished career at out-half in addition to having the ability to switch between 10 and 15.
“Yeah, I would have watched (him) a good bit, he’s a pretty good player. It was pretty cool that he played a bit of fullback as well and moved into 10 a bit later. I can see the relevance there so it would be great for me to work with him on a personal level but then, when he was coaching with the Brumbies and Australia, you could obviously see the way he played in the way that the teams were playing. He seems to be a guy who coaches on instinct and what he sees which is pretty cool to see.”
“You could probably pick his brain on [topics] like, did he have any cues to see space? Or something like that.
“That’s always a big thing in today’s game [is] being able to pick the right option; whether you run, kick, or pass. Being able to play in space, what you see, and seeing it early and giving you the time to get your method in place.”
There will be a lot of attention on Munster next season due to their new coaching staff and how Carbery develops under Larkham will be of particular interest.
Pictured today, as part of Avonmore Protein Milk’s ‘You’ve Got This’ campaign is International Rugby Player Joey Carbery who is inspiring others through his performances last season, showcasing that hard-work and dedication are key to success, as he launches new Blueberry Protein Milk.