Up-and-coming scrum-half Kieran Marmion knows he must take his chance when it comes for the Irish Wolfhounds against England Saxons on Friday.
The in-form Connacht number nine, who is no stranger to the try-line in provincial colours, is expected to feature at Musgrave Park in Cork.
In fact, the youngster is likely to start the match and with Conor Murray and Eoin Reddan injury doubts, a good performance this week could lead to Marmion putting himself into contention for Ireland’s Six Nations opener against Italy in Rome.
“Obviously I’d love to play,” he told the Irish Times about Friday’s clash.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for everyone ahead of the Six Nations so everyone is just fully focused on this game. The squad that they’ve named, a lot of them have played for England. It’s not that it’s a weak opposition. They’ve got some really exciting players in there, like Chris Ashton and Sam Burgess. It’s a tough pack as well so it’s not an easy game.”
He added on how he is settling in to international rugby: “I think I’ve learned quite a bit from being in the environment. It’s different to what many people would be used to. It does take a bit of getting used to but I feel like I’ve learned a good bit since I’ve come here.
“Joe doesn’t really take any backward steps. When you are in here you really have to know what is going on. You have to know the detail. They won’t wait for you. That certainly does take some getting used to. You have to adapt quickly or else you get left behind.”
While Marmion is hoping to get his chance in Cork, he concluded by saying that he knows that at this level a player may only get one opportunity to impress.
“Injury is how a lot of people get their chances but you have to take the next game, which is the Wolfhounds,” he said. “If you can’t perform in that then you’re not going to be able to go to the next level.”