Leinster forward Ben Marshall admits he is more than happy to do a job in the back row – revealing he’s just pleased to have put his injury hell behind him.
Marshall, 20, made his senior debut just after Christmas in 2010 but arm and shoulder problems – the latter requiring surgery – have curbed his development until this season.
Growing up as a second row forward, Marshall has been thrust into back row action in the absence of long-term injury absentees Sean O’Brien and Rhys Ruddock, as well as Jamie Heaslip who is set to return this weekend, and he confesses he is relishing his change in position.
“There's a door open for me now," Marshall, who made his first start of the RaboDirect PRO12 season in the 45-25 victory over Newport Gwent Dragons last weekend and also scored a try, told the Irish Independent.
“Any development in any position is ultimately a good thing. You're not going to lose the skills you pick up as a six so if I do end up going back to second-row, the skills [forwards coach] Jono [Gibbes] has developed with me at six, in terms of my hands and using the ball, can only help my game.
“They have said there are opportunities for me now at six, I've developed there and I'm delighted to be able to have got through a game there. But it still has come at a tough time as with a couple of guys knocked out of contention, all the international guys are coming back.
“So when two guys step out, two other guys can step in. All I can do is try to make the selection process as difficult as possible for the coaches.”