Craig Casey was just four years of ages when Jonny Wilkinson dropped a goal to win the World Cup for England.
The England out-half ended up his career with four Six Nations champions, a Premiership title, 2 Heineken Cups and a Leading 14 medal.
He is considered as one of the best gamers to grace the game.
So when Johnny Sexton says he can’t consider any person else to compare the young Ireland scrum-half to, then it’s rather a comparison.
The 21- year-old Munster player was benched as Ireland lost to France two weeks earlier, stopping working to get on as the hosts chased a video game they could not catch.
However yesterday in the Stadio Olimpico, the Limerick native ended up being an international, and to listen to the Irish captain, it’s simply the beginning of the story.
” I didn’t understand him that well certainly as I ‘d never ever played with him,” Sexton told reporters when asked about Casey following the 48-10 win.
” He advises me of what I’ve read about Jonny Wilkinson. That’s the only individual I can relate him to.
” It’s motivating for the rest of the group or someone like me at this stage of my career, I like to be last off the pitch and I’m never ever last off the pitch with him around. Yeah, he’s been brilliant.”
In a week that Sexton hinted that he may not be around for the World Cup in 2023, he was at discomforts to explain that he believes that Casey and Leinster lock Ryan Baird, who likewise debuted in the 63 rd minute of the match, are precisely the type of gamers Ireland require to reach the next level.
” We came in for some flak over the last couple of weeks but internally, as a group I don’t think we have actually ever been more confident about where we are going and what we can produce,” said the 35- year-old.
” With the coaches that we have, with the leadership group coming out of their shells and enhancing their leadership, I believe that this group is on the right trajectory. Those two people are going to play a huge part of it.
” Ryan was impressive when he began, his energy was amazing so the future is brilliant with those 2 leading the charge.”
It was soon Casey’s rely on deal with the practically put together media after the game and while he had a hard time to hear the questions over the din of numerous interviews taking place in the exact same space, his sheer enjoyment radiated through the laptop computers.
” It was everything I have actually imagined,” he informed RTÉ Sport. ” It makes it a lot better to get the win so I’m delighted.”
Stylish, similar to his playing style.
What did Johnny mean by comparing you to Wilkinson?
” He stated this to me a couple of weeks earlier,” he chuckled.
There remains a queue in front of the Shannon man.
Provincial team-mate Conor Murray is the recognized and preferred starting Ireland scrum-half when fit.
Leinster’s Jamison Gibson-Park had the 9 shirt yesterday, while over in Connacht, Kieran Marmion, and up in Ulster, John Cooney desire another shot. Luke McGrath, also at Leinster, was, till just recently, the favored back-up.
Asked if he is among those who can bide his time for more global action, he didn’t hold back.
” Obviously I want to play video games for Ireland, that’s the goal,” he said.
” I do not want to sit back and be happy with being third option. I wish to push on now, however when you’ve got players of Mur and Jamo’s calibreit’s hard to break in, however I’m not going to relax and be happy I wish to press on.”
Unreasonable as it was, Gibson-Park was also asked about what Casey gives the celebration.
” Yeah, appearance, he’s a great young lad, one of the very best work principles I have actually seen in a young footballer … forever, probably, truly,” stated the Kiwi, who won his 8th cap yesterday.
” I had fun with some good guys in New Zealand, undoubtedly, however I do not believe they were ever as dedicated as he is.
” Yeah, he’s going to go a long way, there’s no doubt about that.”
Casey and Ryan were team-mates when Ireland U20 s won the Grand Slam in 2019 and they had been well aquatinted prior to that having played on different underage sides.
” He was quality at that time, then I went on to play with him the Irish U18 Schools and U20 s. He’s been class throughout,” added Casey of 21- year-old Baird, who stands 6′ 6″.
” He’s absolutely unreal, a freak athlete.
” I wouldn’t say we enrolled and inspired each other.
” There wasn’t need for extra inspiration. We’re pretty encouraged anyway.
” However it’s cool we played against and with each other at 18 s, with each other at 20 s and after that making a debut today. It’s cool to be on the same side.”
Head coach Andy Farrell was appropriately impressed with their contributions and lamented that Covid-19 limitations had actually suggested their households had to enjoy their launchings from afar.
” I simply stated to them there, the 2 men, I was waiting on their nerves to kick in all week,” he stated.
” They were nerveless and it was an absolute credit to them and to their households.
” In these Covid times I feel for the families not to be able to come out to Rome and see that experience because their boys were exceptional.
” They ended up being guys today. They ‘d gone about their tasks silently all week and nerves never ever actually set in at all.
” The only thing that I asked of them today was to be themselves and they were that in spades.
” I believed they were exceptional.”