Andrew Conway: Farrell to make a smooth transition into top job

Winger says shutting out All Blacks shows head coach to be is doing something right

Andrew Conway returns to the Munster fold for Friday night’s Pro14 encounter with Edinburgh   after accumulating a hat-trick in Ireland’s November Series win over the USA last Saturday. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Andrew Conway returns to the Munster fold for Friday night’s Pro14 encounter with Edinburgh after accumulating a hat-trick in Ireland’s November Series win over the USA last Saturday. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

 

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 fullbacks 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.

Standards

“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 returns to the Munster fold for Friday night’s Pro14 encounter with Edinburgh in Cork, after accumulating a hat-trick in Ireland’s November Series win over the USA last Saturday.

He also has a healthy strike rate of three tries in six games at provincial level this term, but Conway is hoping his all-round game can prosper during a busy window for Johann van Graan’s side.

“I’m playing all right, but I want to get involved in the team’s carries and setting lads up. Not just getting out there, getting the ball when it comes to my wing and chasing a high ball when it’s a box kick on my side. I want to go out and put my stamp on games. If I can continue to do that, then I think I’ll be playing the best rugby of my career.”

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