Herring ready to justify surprise call-up

Date published: January 27 2016

The South African-born Ulster hooker Rob Herring is eager to show what he can do after he was named in Ireland Head Coach Joe Schmidt's 35-man squad for the 2016 Six Nations.

Herring, who can also fill in at flank, was surprised at his inclusion alongside hookers Richardt Strauss, Sean Cronin and Ulster team-mate Rory Best.

"I was a bit surprised to get the call because I haven't had that much game time in the last few weeks," Herring told the Belfast Telegraph 

"When I saw the squad and saw there were four hookers I was a bit surprised. There are not normally four but I'm delighted to be included.

"I've got to try my best to show Joe I can do a job."

Herring – who captained Ulster during the World Cup – caught the eye of Schmidt with consistant Champions Cup performances and Saturday was no different when he scored a try in his side's 56-3 thrashing of Oyonnax in their final pool game.

"I knew going into the Oyonnax game and starting, that it was a chance to put my hand up for the RBS 6 Nations match-day squads," he added.

"It was good to be back at hooker. I don't mind filling in at flanker but it was nice to start at hooker.

"I don't score too many but it was nice as well to get over. I've been working on my carrying a bit so it's good for me to get into space and I think I'm quite quick so hopefully it's something I can add."

Herring is one of five uncapped players included in the squad, including Connacht's Ultan Dillane, Munster captain CJ Stander, Leinster's Josh Van Der Flier, and Ulster centre Stuart McCloskey.