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JJ Hanrahan keeps a watchful eye as Ian Keatley practices his kicking
Lorraine O'Sullivan
Opportunity Knocks
10 October 2012, 1:59 pm
By The Editor
As has been pointed out already, the position Munster find themselves in on Sunday, carrying a meagre bonus point that should have been four, going into round two of this competition, is nothing new to them or their supporters.
But what is new is that the player who will play a pivotal role in their fortunes against Edinburgh is Ian Keatley who makes his first start at number 10 for Munster. The former Leinster and Connacht player is honest enough to admit to nerves but nevertheless there's no disguising his enthusiasm.

""I'm just excited and I just want to get out there and play. It's my first Heineken Cup start in the number 10 position. I'm looking forward to it but I'm sure I'm going to be nervous. I think everyone is going to be nervous but I think if it means something to you that's just the case."

"And this means a lot to me.""

He takes over from the hamstrung Ronan O'Gara who misses his first Heineken Cup start since sustaining a broken bone in his hand in the 2005 New Year's Day clash with Leinster at Musgrave Park and Keatley is quick to acknowledge the role O'Gara has played.

"I'm learning a lot from Ronan. He's a hugely experienced player. On the top of the game for 11 or 12 years so I love learning from him."

Keatley had just two starts off the bench to his credit before Rob Penney handed him the number 15 shirt last Saturday but you know that although happy to fill whatever berth he's assigned, he has the jersey he covets on Sunday.

""I'm just delighted to be playing," he says, ""I just want to get the ball in my hands and get the lads into space. You've to earn your right to get on this team, there's so much competition throughout the squad."

"I'll play wherever they put me. I thought I started off well at 15 and then made the change to 10. I'm an outhalf, I've been an outhalf all my life.""

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