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Heaslip: I’m Over The Moon

Heaslip: I’m Over The Moon

Jamie Heaslip stuck with the football parlance when admitting he was “over the moon” to learn of his inclusion in the latest Ireland squad.

Leinster number 8 Jamie Heaslip

Jamie Heaslip stuck with the football parlance when admitting he was “over the moon” to learn of his inclusion in the latest Ireland squad.

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The talented number 8, who has stepped into retired star Victor Costello’s shoes at Leinster this season, is one of four uncapped players to make the cut of 32 for next month’s permanent tsb autumn internationals against New Zealand, Australia and Romania.

Heaslip’s young Leinster team mate Robert Kearney, the youngest member of the Irish squad at 19, is one of 14 backs in coach Eddie O’Sullivan’s squad.

Commenting on his selection, Heaslip told leinsterrugby.ie: “I got a phone call this morning telling me they wanted me to turn up on Sunday evening for the squad session and my initial reaction was that it was one of the lads taking the mick out of me!

“I’m over the moon. I couldn’t believe it and I rang my parents and my brothers and sister. It just goes to show what a bit of hard work can do for you.

“Everything this season has come around unbelievably quickly. Losing last week was a blow but I feel as though I’m getting into my groove a bit better with each passing week. I found the Heineken Cup game that bit faster but it’s been brilliant.”

The 21-year-old Heaslip, who joined Clontarf from Dublin University last summer, has started the last six games from Leinster and was a leading member of the Ireland side that finished as runners-up to New Zealand at the 2004 Under-21 World Cup.

Heaslip is the second member of that Ireland Under-21 squad from two seasons ago to set up to the senior squad. Ulster winger Tommy Bowe was the first, marking his debut against the USA last November with a try.

Kearney told the province’s website: “I enjoyed the experience of training with the Ireland squad last month and it gave me a taste for it. Once you’re selected for something you set yourself a standard of being called up again.

“I’m still very much focused on the Heineken Cup this weekend. That’s still very much the priority. We played Glasgow in the Celtic League already this season and we know that they won’t be a pushover, particularly after their performance last week against Bourgoin.

“It’s a massive game for us and it will be the biggest game of my career to date because we’re all hugely committed to putting things right.”

UCD student Kearney, captain of Ireland at last summer’s Under-19 World Cup, has marked himself out as a winger to watch with three tries in six Celtic League games so far this season.