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Andy Friend on Kieran Marmion | "He's a fighter - he doesn't know how to give up"

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

05:26 20 Nov 2019



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Connacht head coach Andy Friend shared his delight at Kieran Marmion's new contract with Connacht, praising the fighting qualities that he brings to the team.

Friend was speaking to Wednesday Night Rugby about Marmion's signature and the effect that it will have on the province's outlook over the next three years.

"He is a fighter. From the minute I met him a year and a half ago, I found him to be a tremendous fighter and he doesn't know how to give up.

"We were thrilled as an organisation [that Marmion signed], and Irish fans should be really happy that Kieran has decided to stay in Ireland.

"He had great competition with not only Caolin [Blade], but we have got another good couple of young nines sitting behind him too."

"It is great that he is here now to chance his arm with all of that, and make Connacht his home for the next three years."

Marmion disappointment

It has not all been smooth sailing for Marmion, as Andy spoke to Off The Ball about his lingering disappointment with being left out of Ireland's World Cup squad, agreeing that it was a 'serious blow'.

"As a young footballer, your heart is set on playing for your country, and if you are lucky enough to get that call-up then you go well and life is pretty good for you.

"If you're not, then it can sit with you for years - it can sit with you for a lifetime if you choose. I certainly know that Kieran was really, really disappointed with that and he is probably still working through that."

Support

In this respect, Friend opened up as to the mechanisms in place at provincial level to offset the disappointment to players in his charge.

"All we can do is offer our support. He knows that we are here to support him. He knows that we do care about how he is feeling and any support that we give him around that, we do.

"At the end of the day, too - that's rugby. It is the sport we're in, it is a professional game and as much as you think you can control what the selectors do, you can't."

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