Six Nations 2015: Ian Keatley hopes for more Ireland chances

Ian Keatley attempts to burst away from Alessandro Zanni in Saturday's game in the Stadio Olimpico
Ian Keatley earned his fourth Ireland cap in Saturday's Six Nations win over Italy
RBS Six Nations: Ireland v France
Venue: Aviva Stadium, Dublin Date: Saturday, 14 February Kick-off: 17:00 GMT Coverage: Live on BBC TV, HD, Red Button, Radio 5 live, Radio Ulster FM, the BBC Sport website, mobile, the BBC Sport app and Connected TV.

Ireland fly-half Ian Keatley wants to continue to put the pressure on Jonathan Sexton who is expected to return for Saturday's Six Nations game against France in Dublin.

Keatley contributed 14 points in a 100% kicking return as Ireland subdued Italy 26-3 in Saturday's opener in Rome.

However, fly-half Sexton is set to return against the French after serving his 12-week concussion lay-off.

"I want to keep improving and just keep challenging Johnny," said Keatley, 27.

"He's one of the best out-halves in the world so to be honest I presume that he's going to be straight in there for the French match, even though he hasn't played in a while.

Ireland's Tommy O'Donnell breaks through to score against Italy

"He's still been keeping fit and you need Johnny Sexton in your team.

"I know that Johnny is number one, but you can't just accept that.

"If you're looking to play second-fiddle to someone the whole time you're not going to improve personally."

Keatley, a surprise selection ahead of Ian Madigan, said that he showed nerves on a few occasions at the Stadio Olimpico.

However, Ireland coach Joe Schmidt said that the experience would "help him acquit himself in the future" and add to the Munster fly-half's four-cap tally.

Ireland's 2015 Six Nations matches
7 FebruaryItaly 3-26 Ireland
14 FebruaryIreland v France
1 MarchIreland v England
14 MarchWales v Ireland
21 MarchScotland v Ireland

"I can still iron out things in my performance. I'm sure I'll go through it with Joe and just look to improve," added Keatley.

"A few times leading up to the match I got nervous, I was just thinking to myself that I remembered watching Ireland winning the Six Nations in France last year."

The Dublin-born player had stints with Munster's Irish provincial rivals Leinster and Connacht before finding his niche with the Thomond Park club.

"Not everyone can be a superstar and just break through, you need a little bit of luck," he added.

"I've made some big decisions in my career, going to Connacht and then Munster.

"I've just been working hard so that if I ever did get this opportunity, I would be ready for it."

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