Andrew Conway: The man who was tipped to take over from BOD

Monday Night Rugby with Eir Sport on Munster man's form

BY Ciaran Bradley 21:46 Monday 3 December 2018, 21:46 3 Dec 2018

Ruaidhri O’Connor believes that Andrew Conway is finally fulfilling his potential at Munster, as we discussed his prodigious beginnings on Wednesday Night Rugby.

Ruaidhri was fulsome in his praise for Conway, following Munster’s 44 -14 win over Edinburgh in Thomond Park this weekend. Ruaidhri also gave us a great insight into the beginnings of the man who was once the heir to Brian O’Driscoll’s throne as the next Leinster sensation.

“At one of the media gigs in Carton House, someone said to him that Jordan Larmour was really tearing things up after the Italy game, and that used to be [him] – which he was a little affronted by.

“It’s not a topic he often wants to engage, because I think he feels he’s left the young Andrew Conway behind. He was capped by Leinster by Michael Cheika. They gave him a contract out of school – that’s how long ago he made his debut for Leinster.

“Joe Schmidt really took a shine to him during his last season at Leinster. When he went to Munster, he had gone down as a starter for Leinster and it didn’t happen for him again.

“I remember speaking to Anthony Foley about how Conway had to almost reinvent himself as a person, and it’s taken him a long time.”

Ruaidhri recalled the early parts of Conway’s career:

“I did the under-20s World Cup in Argentina in 2010 – he was the star of that team […] Zebo was on that team, but Conway was the star. Zebo got so much more exposure and experience ahead of him, but now Conway has finally reached that potential.”

Conway was being mentioned in rarefied company when he was coming up – a situation that would be unenviable for someone trying to carve their own career, not a pale imitation of someone else.

“He was outrageous at schools level. Outrageous at 20s.

“It was [Brian] O’Driscoll, Fitzgerald then Conway in the Blackrock conveyor belt as a 16 year-old. Leinster seem to be producing four a year now, but back then he was the one.

“He was exceptional, and maybe he knew he was exceptional – it sounds like it took him a while but he realises now, and he relishes it more because of those setbacks.”

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