Stuart McCloskey: Ulster centre eager for Ireland return against Georgia

Stuart McCloskey in action against England in March 2016
Stuart McCloskey earned his first Ireland cap against England in the 2016 Six Nations but has made only two further appearances for his country

Ireland centre Stuart McCloskey admits he is eager to return from the wilderness and kick-start his fitful international career.

Ulster back McCloskey, 28, is in contention to win his first cap in more than two years during in Autumn Nations Cup clash with Georgia.

McCloskey earned his first Ireland cap against England in 2016 but has made only two further appearances to date.

"I've been pretty impatient for the past five-odd years," said McCloskey.

"Hopefully, if I do get an opportunity, I can take it and move forward and grasp it with both hands. I need to have a good game if I do play and put a bit of pressure on the guys there.

"It's (been) tough. There have been times where I've felt I have been playing excellent, I've been there or thereabouts for the whole time.

"But there's a lot of good competition there. There's a lot of talent there - it (centre) is probably the most talented of any position in Ireland."

Stuart McCloskey in action for Ulster
McCloskey's consistently good form for Ulster has not been enough to earn him a regular place in the Ireland squad

'I just tried to fit in too much'

McCloskey believes he made the mistake of trying to "fit in too much" when he was initially selected.

"Looking back on it, I just wish I'd put more of a mark on it in my first game, against England. Maybe I just tried to fit in too much."

After his maiden outing in a 21-10 loss at Twickenham, McCloskey played in victories over Fiji in November 2017 and the United States 12 months later.

The Northern Irishman appears well placed to add to his sporadic appearances this weekend, with head coach Andy Farrell likely to name an experimental line-up against the country ranked 12th in the world.

"I'd just like to play well and then hopefully get another game on the back of it and put my mark down."

After comfortably beating Wales in the opening match of the tournament, Ireland were resoundingly defeated by England.

McCloskey believes there is little between his country and the world's best but feels they need greater consistency.

"There are no real teams in the world now where going into them we wouldn't be there or thereabouts," he adds.

"But it just seems to come in peaks and troughs at the minute, one week it's very good, one week it's not quite there."

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