Versatile Conway is fully focused on Munster

Andrew Conway enjoyed a sensational 2017/2018 from a personal point of view and is looking to continue on the same upward curve this season. Conway was one of Munster’s best players last term and continued that form with Ireland in the summer.

His wonder try against Toulon in the Champions Cup quarter final has already gone down in Munster lore but he is focused on looking to the future and that start’s against his former side Leinster at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday.

“For me, you probably think about it (a derby game) a bit more subconsciously or your mind goes an extra bit in the week of a non-interpro or a game against lads you didn’t grow up with or that you don’t know really well. For each person it’s probably different but I will be thinking about it that bit more which hopefully is good.”

Guinness PRO14, Aviva Stadium, Dublin 7/10/2017 Leinster vs Munster Munster’s Andrew Conway tackled by Leinster’s Luke McGrath Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Things will be ramped up even more with Ireland’s Autumn Internationals around the corner, especially with Joe Schmidt recently admitting that he pinpoints the interpro games when putting together his squad. Conway says that these games are vital for players with international hopes.

“These games are the ones where the Irish management really look. The one on one battles, your big game temperament, how you perform when the chips are down, whenever there is a lot on the line.

“It’s definitely something that you are conscious of but first and foremost you are looking at performing for Munster and then whatever comes after that is happy days if it’s good but this week is about getting Munster a victory, playing well and being a good cog in that wheel.”

Conway’s versatility in the back three could be a huge plus for Munster this season. He is equally adept at full back or on the wing. He was part of an impressive back line that ripped Ulster apart last time out and says that they have tried to improve certain aspects of the team’s game plan this season.

“We have tried to come on a bit from where we were last year and Rory (Scannell) is very good at first receiver. He has played a lot at 10 anyway. Sam Arnold is working really hard at getting in at first receiver and being able to boss the guys around him.

“It was one of the things that Tyler (Bleyendaal) was so good at. He makes everyone else look good around him. He puts people in the right positions and has a really good understanding of where you are meant to be. That’s a real big thing for a 10. It’s one of those ones that you want to have the ability to do every job on the rugby pitch.

“It’s a battle to try and not revert to what you perceive as safe because that’s probably not safe rugby. It’s predictable and against a good team like the Leinster’s, Exeter and Gloucester, you will get found out.”

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John Keogh