BUSINESS AS USUAL AFTER JOE DEPARTS
BY DAIRE WALSH
IRELAND winger Andrew Conway expects Andy Farrell to make a smooth transition to the role of national team head coach when he takes over from Joe Schmidt after next year’s World Cup in Japan.
Following the New Zealander’s much-anticipated 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 remarked.
“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 the Wigan man’s methods – which proved to be an eye-opening experience for the 27-year-old.
“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 that 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.”
CONWAY was speaking yesterday in Limerick, where he was announced as the new Life Style Sports brand ambassador.