David Foley insists he is relieved to be paired alongside Munster stalwart Mick O’Driscoll as he looks to build his fledgling career with the province.
Munster’s defence of their RaboDirect PRO12 title hasn’t been made easy with their squad decimated by World Cup call-ups.
But Tony McGahan’s charges haven’t shown the strain with four wins from their opening four games.
One of the silver linings for McGahan with his squad spread thin has been the form of his youngsters and lock Foley has been handed a start against Edinburgh at Murrayfield this evening.
And it is a case of young and old being paired together as Foley is joined in the second-row by 32-year-old O’Driscoll, making his 192nd Munster appearance tonight, and the young pretender is delighted to have someone to rely on next to him.
"Micko is a massive influence. Not just for me, for all around him," said Foley.
"You can learn a huge amount from him. It is great at this stage of a fellah's career to be paired with him. He really is a huge figure for us.
"Coming into this season, I knew that, with the World Cup, I'd get the chance to get a few games.
“There's still a lot of quality in the back-row so it was a matter of putting in a good pre-season and getting a run at it and seeing where that gets me.
"We've enjoyed a good run. Four games gone, two to go in this phase, top of the league, it's exactly where you want to be.
“Obviously the defensive effort last week was massive. A few lucky breaks like that forward pass and some good defence."