Ireland’s Joey Carbery says he is enjoying playing at fly-half having recovered from an ankle knock.
The Munster 10 was a late withdrawal from the squad that defeated Russia 35-0 in Pool A last Thursday.
Carbery was initially selected as bench cover for several positions, including scrum-half, despite his very limited professional playing time there.
“I did a bit of 10 today [Tuesday], which is the position I play so I’m pretty happy with that,” said Carbery.
“If there’s a certain break in training where I’m needed to go in at nine or 15 or something like that, then I get a tap on the shoulder but it’s up to the coaches really.
“I’m happy to be playing at 10, it’s the position I love so it’s good to get reps in there.”
Viewed by many as the heir-apparent to Ireland’s number 10 jersey currently occupied by Johnny Sexton, Carbery moved from Leinster to Munster at the beginning of the 2018-19 campaign.
The switch was facilitated by the Irish Rugby Football Union, who were keen for Carbery to have regular game-time at fly-half as opposed to full-back where he often found himself operating at Leinster.
The 23-year-old enjoyed a fine debut season at Munster, guiding the province to Pro14 and European Champions Cup semi-finals.
“It was pretty good to play week in, week out at 10 because you can kind of get a feel for the players around you,” he reflected.
“I was getting a lot of game-time and was kind of getting into the swing of things.
“The injuries were a bit frustrating but I did show with game-time and consistency at the position I’m playing at then I can get a lot better.”
Likely return to squad to face Samoa
An ankle injury in Ireland’s opening World Cup warm-up match on 10 August threatened to end Carbery’s tournament before it had even begun.
His selection, despite not being fit enough to be included in the squad for the first game against Scotland, was another strong indication of head coach Joe Schmidt’s faith in the player.
So far Carbery’s tournament has been restricted to a 20-minute cameo from the bench against Japan.
“I was a bit rusty I felt,” he said.
“It was obviously very tough, Japan were putting us under immense pressure and they kind of closed all our options off and suffocated us a bit so huge credit to them.”
Now fully fit, it is likely that Carbery will be named among the replacements for Ireland’s final Pool A assignment against Samoa on Saturday.
After Thursday’s victory over Russia, head coach Joe Schmidt said that he was hopeful of giving Sexton, who was withdrawn at half-time, 60 minutes in Fukuoka.