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McFadden turns hand to goal-kicking

22nd May 2014 15:26


Fergus McFadden Ire training RWC 2011

Fergus McFadden: Kicking on

Leinster and Ireland winger Fergus McFadden has his sights set on greater involvement with his teams' goal-kicking duties.

McFadden is a winger by trade, and has been instructed by Ireland and ex-Leinster boss Joe Schmidt that that is where he will play, but can also fill in in midfield.

And the 27-year-old is looking to garner more opportunities for himself by improving his skills from the tee.

"I haven't had many opportunities to kick this year. Richie Murphy (Ireland and Leinster skills coach) talked about maybe kicking in one of the games towards the end of the season," McFadden told the Irish Times.

"The injury to my knee was a setback for me to get the opportunity. I practice it every week. I know a day will come where I'll have to step and take a kick in a big game to win it.

"It is just about putting in the work in and knowing that's just around the corner. It is a great string to have in my bow in the Ireland set-up as well. Joe knows he can have the confidence in me to step up and take a couple."

McFadden concedes playmaker Jonny Sexton is in a league of his own, but pays credit to clubmates Ian Madigan and Jimmy Gopperth, both pivots in Dublin.

"Listen, I think Johnny is out on his own in the place-kicking. Ian and Jimmy have been very good (for Leinster) in that area as well," added McFadden.

"You just need to have back-up place-kickers in squads. I put myself in that bracket and if I'm called upon to kick on a day, I certainly wouldn't shy away from it.

"I enjoy the pressure that it brings as well. I wouldn't say no if I was put in that position. But, I'm not putting myself forward to try and knock Johnny or Ian or Jimmy. I like to have it there as a strength for the squad."

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