Farrell backed by Conway
Andrew Conway expects Andy Farrell to make a smooth transition to the role of Ireland head coach when he takes over from Joe Schmidt after next year’s World Cup in Japan.
Following Schmidt’s decision to step down at the end of his current contract with the IRFU, Farrell was immediately unveiled as his eventual successor.
“I’m sure he’s been thinking about that [head coach role] for a while. Joe has put massive onus on the leadership group, and the coaching group that he has around him, to be all on the same page,” Conway said, “He’ll be driving the defensive side of it and I’m sure he knows an incredible amount about attack, because that’s what he’s trying to marshal on a week-to-week basis.”
Before replacing Les Kiss as Ireland defence coach, Farrell held a four-month advisory role with Munster rugby. It was there that Conway first got a taste of his methods.
“Andy has probably got a specific way for wingers and full-backs that he wants you to work. It is tough to adapt to that. It does take a while and it’s just repetition after repetition. Especially in the back-three, everyone knowing what the other guy is doing. I need to be able to look back and see where the 15 is.
“It’s tough working with Andy because he’s got such standards, but you see the benefit of it comes out in the defence. Obviously keeping New Zealand try-less is pretty special. He’s done that a few times and been involved in huge victories over New Zealand. He’s definitely doing something right.”
After claiming a hat-trick in Ireland’s win over the US last Saturday, Conway returns to the Munster fold for tonight’s PRO14 encounter with Edinburgh in Musgrave Park at 7.35pm.
Johann Van Graan has named a strong Munster team, with Conor Murray and Chris Farrell both starting after making their return from injury off the bench against Zebre on Sunday. It will be Murray’s first since Ireland’s summer tour of Australia, while Farrell last started against Wales in February. There are 11 changes to the team that defeated Zebre, with captain Peter O’Mahony, Keith Earls, Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, John Ryan and Tadhg Beirne returning.
Andrew Conway was unveiled as a Brand Ambassador for Lifestyle Sports. Follow @lifestylesportsrugby.