Kearney eyes World Cup berth
PA Sport
May 31, 2007

Rob Kearney is looking forward to staking his claim for a place in Ireland's World Cup squad after being handed his debut against Argentina on Saturday.

The World Cup is coming in four month's time in France and, with everyone fighting to be included in the 20-man squad, Kearney hopes to show coach Eddie O'Sullivan he deserves a place.

The Leinster wing, along with fellow debutant Shane Jennings, has little time to adapt to international rugby, but is naturally delighted to be involved at the Jose Amalfitani stadium.

``It's a fantastic feeling. The first cap for your country is always a very special moment,'' he told PA Sport. ``I'm really looking forward to the occasion.''

Before the Argentina tour started, O'Sullivan claimed he still 50% of the World Cup squad was yet to be determined and Kearney is hopeful of helping Ireland bounce back from last weekend's 22-20 defeat and winning a spot on the plane to France in the process.

``The World Cup is in the back of my head,'' the 21-year-old said. ``Obviously you're thinking about the selection for that, but at the same time you have to focus more on the game we are playing this week and try to our best to win.''

With Paddy Wallace, Andrew Trimble and Tommy Bowe out injured, the Ireland team for this weekend will contain 12 changes, 11 personnel and one positional, with Gavin Duffy moving from full-back to inside centre.

And Kearney believes they have to concentrate on the area which cost them victory in the First Test.

``From the team point of view I think we have to work on our discipline and having order on the field,'' he said.

``Perhaps it is a bit repetitive as the coach highlighted it in press conferences, but there's no doubt that was the underlying reason why we lost the game over the weekend.

``We gave away too many penalties, some of them which we could have avoided. When we make line breaks we need to retain the ball a bit more.''

After a rest day yesterday, the Irish squad returned to training this morning at Centro Naval, while tomorrow they are scheduled to travel to the Jose Amalfitani.

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