Andy Friend: Irish Rugby in a good place

23 March 2023

Andy Friend: Irish Rugby in a good place

Back in BKT United Rugby Championship action and this Saturday we welcome Edinburgh to The Sportsground for what is a massive game as we near the end of the regular season.

Four wins in-a-row and seeing Ireland win the Grand Slam, mood around camp is extremely high with players itching to get out and perform in front of the home support.

Speaking ahead of the game was Connacht Director of Rugby Andy Friend. He spoke about the positive factor seeing the two Irish teams winning added to the mood of the camp at the start of game week.

"It was brilliant to see both teams do what they did"

"The senior team have been the form team of the tournament"

"To cap it off with a bonus point win and at home was fitting for them"

"Andy Farrell has his team have done a great job and leads them into a great position going into the World Cup"

"For the U20s, like the Seniors they were the form team of the tournament"

"Irish rugby is in a good spot"

The question now that most fans will ask, when will those international players be back in action for Connacht?

"Bundee and Mack will be back next week, Cian Prendergast is back with us which is great and he's ready to go" said Friend

Could we potentially see some of the Irish U20 players get called up into the senior squad?

"Those four fellas that played for the 20s shown themselevs to be good operators and we will probably start to see more of them at our training sessions"

Heading into Saturday's game, Andy spoke about the improvements his side need to make from their previous two games in the URC.

"We probably didn't finish off the opportunities we had which is something we'll need to make sure we do this Saturday"

"We are creating these chances which shows our attack is going well but we just need to get that final piece at the end right consistently now and when we do we'll be a tough side for anyone to stop"

For Edinburgh they come into this game with a new coach, Steve Diamond. Andy expects to see a bounce fro the Scottish side with the change in management.

"Any time you bring in a new coach you tend to get a reaction from the team so no doubt we'll see one from Edinburgh this Saturday"

"He's had three training sessions with them so you don't expect to see too much change from what they were doing previously"

Tickets for Saturday's game can be got HERE