Ireland’s Richard Strauss relishing fight for Six Nations spot

Ireland's Richard Strauss says he is relishing the battle of securing the number two jersey in Declan Kidney's side for the Six Nations

Following an encouraging start to his international career, Richardt Strauss insists he is relishing the battle for Ireland’s No2 jersey as he bids for a place in the 2013 RBS Six Nations squad.

The hooker started against South Africa and Argentina in place of the injured Rory Best, and even touched down in the 46-24 victory over the Pumas for his first international try.

Now with a real thirst for the international scene, Pretoria-born Strauss hopes to help his adopted country produce the same standard of rugby that helped ensure their top eight ranking for the 2015 Rugby World Cup draw.

But with his focus now back with Leinster, the 26-year-old admitted the thought of a place in the Six Nations will drive him on over the winter months as he bids to remain amongst Declan Kidney’s plans.

Strauss said: “The Six Nations holds massive importance and has a good history and I’m very excited about the prospect of being involved in it. But there’s a lot of hard work that has to go in for me to be in that squad.

“That’s why everyone has got to go back to the provinces and perform and hopefully get into that squad.

“I had to wait longer than most lads to make my international debut and I’m really just relishing every opportunity I get.

“We’ve had a couple of big games with Leinster over the last season, but international rugby was always going to be a big step up.

“You get the best players from every country playing and it’s been a great opportunity and experience for me to be part of.

“We said in the changing room after [the Argentina game] that it’s not just a ‘one time’ performance and it’s something that we have to keep working on and hopefully we can take it on to the next few games.”

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