Billy Burns had to wait his turn to make his test debut, but after getting a taste of the international scene on Friday night, the Ulster flyhalf is desperate for more.
While Burns made it onto the pitch earlier than expected last Friday, he also departed the game too soon; coming in as a first-half replacement for the injured Johnny Sexton, before a HIA saw his night ended on 65 minutes.
And with Sexton now ruled out of the game against England this week due to a hamstring injury, it's led to suggestions that Conor Murray could start in the 10 shirt at Twickenham, should Burns have a setback in the return-to-play protocols.
Burns says he's confident he'll get through the required steps to be fit to play, and reading between the lines his presence on media duties this afternoon would indicate that management share that confidence.
His debut lasted 35 minutes in total, split either side of the half time break, and Burns says he has no intention of settling for the solitary cap.
"All in all it was OK, but I know that if I want to be playing in this team regularly it’s going to have to be a bit better. I’m just looking to learn and improve week on week, and if I get another opportunity this weekend hopefully I can improve my performances again.
"In the game, there were parts I was pleased with but watching it back and reviewing it with coaches and the other players, there are definitely areas I can improve," he said.
"If I do get the opportunity and everything goes well with return-to-play, it’s all about getting the win for us. It doesn’t matter whether we’re playing England or New Zealand or whoever. It’s all about getting the result".
‘Will he play Conor Murray at 10?… That’s a risk…’
Alan Quinlan on the options to replace Johnny Sexton, who will miss Ireland’s trip to Twickenham.
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A second cap for Billy Burns would see him lining out against the country of his birth, whom he won an u20 World Championship with in 2014. The Ulsterman qualified for Ireland through his paternal grandfather, which sparked his move to Ulster in the summer of 2019.
Ulster's 10 is the third of his siblings to play international rugby, after his brother Freddie featured for England, with another brother who played with Cyprus through residency.
However, he says there would be no divided loyalties if he gets a chance to line out at Twickenham this weekend.
"How conflicted will I feel? Not at all.
"I’m very much here to play for Ireland. My passion is to play for Ireland. I loved representing Ireland at the weekend.
"It’s strange but all the decisions I’ve made to get to this point have come to fruition I guess because I managed to get out there at the weekend but I don’t want to be a guy who plays once and then disappears and just goes away again. I want to try to stay in the team and stay in the squad which is going to be unbelievably tough but hopefully, I can get it done."
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