Darren Sweetnam knows Ireland call-up is within reach

Following the call-up of teammate Andrew Conway, the Munster player says he knows he can be part of Joe Schmidt's side

Darren Sweetnam, Munster Rugby

Image: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy u0003

Darren Sweetnam admits that despite only recently returning from injury, a call-up to the international squad isn't outside the realms of possibility.

With teammate Andrew Conway having earned a call-up to Joe Schmidt's 34-man squad ahead of Ireland's clash with France this weekend, the 23-year-old says he would be able to step into the team if called upon.

"[Conway]'s been playing very well and he's an outstanding player," he said on Monday. "It's nice to see him up there and it's nice to see as many of the lads up there as possible. 

"I just need to keep doing what I'm doing because I've been up there a good few times."

Ireland carry one win and one defeat into their next Six Nations clash, meanwhile the Irish provinces will boast a positive record heading into the weekend. All four picked up wins in the Guinness PRO12 last weekend, including Munster who rallied from 17-3 down to beat Ospreys 25-23 in Wales.

Darren Sweetnam was in good spirits following Munster's narrow victory away to Ospreys last weekend. Image: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy 

Having returned recently from an MCL injury, Sweetnam said it was good to get back out on the pitch.

"I was out for six weeks, which the surgeons said I would be. The timing wasn't great. The whole thing wasn't ideal but it's part of the game and you just get on with it. It's nice to be back playing.

"I was feeling fresh after my 'six-week holiday'. Things are good and it's nice to get back into the squad. I'm looking forward to trying to get back into the squad as a regular."

Despite conceding early tries last Saturday evening, Munster were able to pulling off a stunning comeback and Sweetnam says a big part of that came down to the defensive training they received.

"Jacques [Nienaber], our defence coach, is very positive. He says just laugh about it. You'll win some battles and you'll lose some battles. I think I gained a few as well so that might have made up for it.   

Of next weekend's visit of Scarlets, he said: "It's a massive game. They're after hitting a bit of form and they've only lost one game in the last 12. It's nice to be back in Thomond Park."