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From Tullamore to Tokyo | Jordan Conroy's Olympics Sevens dream realised

Jordan Conroy started our Monday Night Rugby chat in a relaxed mood, and warmed to the theme furt...


From Tullamore to Tokyo | Jordan Conroy's Olympics Sevens dream realised

Jordan Conroy started our Monday Night Rugby chat in a relaxed mood, and warmed to the theme further as he discussed Ireland's journey to Tokyo with the Sevens team.

Anthony Eddy is preparing to choose his squad to compete in Japan after a fantastic 28-19 win over France in Stade Louis II in Monaco.

Sevens Olympic dreams

20 June 2021; The Ireland team celebrate after beating France in the final and qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on day three of the World Rugby Sevens Repechage at the Stade Louis II in Monaco, Monaco. Photo by Giorgio Perottino - World Rugby via Sportsfile

"It's just about sinking in after 24 hours what we've done, and I'm just thinking over and over that I am an Olympian! It's just crazy because I would watch the 2012 London Olympics when I was doing athletics and I was thinking 'If I really put my head down, I could be there..'

"Fast-forward another eight years and I'm there playing rugby! It's just a crazy journey and it's unbelievable. A small boy, from Tullamore town, in the Olympics! What more can you say?"

There is a lot more to say, as it goes.

Jordan credits Tullamore Rugby Club as being one of the main reasons behind his late conversion - no pun intended - to rugby at 18.

"I'm glad to have been raised here in Ireland. Tullamore is where it started for me, and I've got to give a big shout-out to Tullamore Rugby Club who have looked after me for years. That club is the reason I pursued to go higher in rugby.

"The lads would have looked after me when I was a young 18-year-old and I always remember where my roots are. It just makes the qualifying even more special when everybody back home is rooting for you."

Jordan Conroy

Jordan says all he knew at 18 was 'how to catch a ball and run in a straight line', but it was training that really polished the self-confidence.

"The first thing was passing off both sides, that took me about a year-and-a-half. It was a slow process. It was literally after every training session I would do passing drills and exercises.

"There was one where I would just stand in front of the goal posts and I was only allowed to move my arms to hit one of the lads. It was a lot of repeating and repeating."

Jordan's confidence never errs remotely near arrogance, but any sporting self-esteem he does have is fortified by hard graft.

"I want to back up my confidence with a base of hard work. I wouldn't boast about anything that I hadn't really worked at. I want to show what hard work does and where you can come.

"It's been five years of nothing but blood, sweat and tears - and we're going to the Olympics now. I'm going to embrace that and let everyone know that this is what happens when you put your mind to it, and with a great bunch of lads."

So what are the hopes now?

"We're going into that tournament looking to win. We've played most of the big teams in there, so it's not as if we're going in not knowing what to expect.

"We know what to expect and we have a game plan for each. It's up to us to execute that plan. Going for gold is the agenda for us - and anyone who's watching, get behind us!"

Team of Us. Everyone In.

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