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Dublin: 15 °C Wednesday 26 July, 2017
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Conan's no contrarian as he proves patience is a virtue

The back-row had to wait two years between his two Irish caps.

Jack Conan breaks free to score the fifth try of the game.
Jack Conan breaks free to score the fifth try of the game.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

JACK CONAN HAS had to wait almost two years for his second Irish cap but the 24-year old is making up for lost time on Ireland’s summer tour.

The big Leinster No.8 crossed for two tries in the 50-22 win over Japan on Saturday, having scored his first international try the previous week against the USA.

The Old Belvedere clubman has amassed 51 appearances for Leinster but having made his debut against Scotland in a warm-up game to the 2015 RWC, he has to wait until the clash against the USA in New Jersey for his appearance the weekend before last.

His two tries helped Ireland to a 50-22 success but Conan expects a backlash this weekend.

“It is harder this week because you’re playing the same team back to back, you’ve to improve on the good things, bring it through to next week, then the things you weren’t good at, they need to be better.

“The pressure is definitely on again, and Joe drives the standards as well as the players, we want to be here and perform at our best. There will be no slacking off or foot off the pedal.

“We’ll train hard this week, we’ll be pushed more than we were in the last two weeks. The next game is the most important of the lot, the other two are done now and frankly they don’t really matter.

“I feel I’ve done well this season, and I want to finish on a high with a win, not a loss,” he said.

Conan, who has had enough of a battle on his hands to get into the Leinster back row, not to mind the Irish, knows he needs to keep impressing given the competition that’s around.

“It’s only my third cap, a third start, so for me it’s still a new experience, and I still have a lot to prove when I go out there and play.

“I feel like I improved this week from last week, and that’s all I’m looking to do, get better week in week out. It was a tough test in those conditions, I know we put a lot of points on them but they showed their ability to bounce back, with three tries in the last 20 minutes.

“Their ability to keep the ball in play did stress us in the latter stages, and that showed us on our fitness and fatigues, it was very admirable how they went about it. It’ll be another tough test in Tokyo,” warned Conan.

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