Centre Fergus McFadden maintains he is taking nothing for granted in Leinster’s midfield during Brian O’Driscoll’s long recuperation from a shoulder injury.
McFadden finished with a 15-point haul in the European champions’ 30-20 defeat of Treviso in the RaboDirect PRO12 last week and will again partner Eoin O’Malley in the centres against Cardiff Blues on Friday night.
The duo have formed an instant combinationand are doing more than a passable impression of Leinster stalwarts O’Driscoll and Gordon D’Arcy.
McFadden’s form has even prompted talk of filling O’Driscoll’s iconic Ireland No.13 shirt but the 25-year-old is adamant he is not getting ahead of himself.
He said: “Actions speak louder than words and if I am given any opportunities then I need to grab them with both hands so I can show Joe (Schmidt) what I can do.
“There are no slots nailed down in this Leinster team because there’s a lot of competition for every position.
“I spoke to Brian (O’Driscoll) about his operation and he feels good so there’s no one nailed down a spot and no one can step into his shoes because they will always be unfulfilled.
“Anyone who has played there since he got injured I think have done well. I played the first couple and then Eoin came in and he has done well too.
“Whatever combination Joe goes with it is just about Leinster and getting wins.
“People talk about things farther down the line with Ireland but that’s not in our thoughts at the moment.
“It is funny because I am extremely good friends with Eoin so the fact we are in the same position it is competitive but that’s the way we like it.
“He is playing very well and hopefully I will take advantage of the opportunities that come my way in the coming weeks.”