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'I didn’t realise until I started puking. You convince yourself you're feeling fine'

Conway notched his 15th Test try against Wales as his aerial skills impressed again.

Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

IT’S A BIGGER game this weekend, of that there is no doubt, but the chances are that Andrew Conway will be feeling a lot better when Ireland kick-off against France on Saturday night in Paris than he was last weekend for their win over Wales.

The Munster man was hit by a bout of vomiting last time out.

Having managed to score two tries for Ireland in their bonus-point victory over the Welsh, Conway wasn’t exactly complaining when he was subbed off after 62 minutes, even with a hat-trick beckoning.

“I didn’t think I was feeling dodgy,” explains Conway. “When you are preparing for a Test match there are nerves, it’s a big occasion and I didn’t even realise until I started puking.

“When these things happen you kind of use your mind to not allow it in as well. You just convince yourself you are feeling fine. You don’t say it to anyone unless you are really struggling obviously.

“Once I got one out of me, it wasn’t going to stop until I was empty. So probably a wise decision to get me off because if the ball came my way at one stage I wouldn’t have been much use!”

One wouldn’t have guessed that Conway had been under the weather as he delivered another good performance on the right wing for Ireland.

His second try was a straightforward finish off Jamison Gibson-Park’s floated pass, but the first was a very sharp score as he had to check to collect the ball from Johnny Sexton and then beat Wales centre Josh Adams on the outside.

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“It all happened quite quickly,” says Conway of his finish. “He [Adams] actually held off and I was surprised at how much space he gave me because of the support coming back on his inside, I was expecting him to come a bit harder and that would have made me have to cut back in because the angle wouldn’t have been as favourable.

“With the knowledge of knowing we had advantage at the time, I had a small bit more license to go for it. They’re lovely ones to score, I must say. I was chuffed enough with that because they’re the tight ones that in Test matches, you don’t want to waste opportunities.”

The brace against Wales means Conway has now scored 15 tries in his 28 Ireland caps, leaving him well-positioned to break into the all-time top 10.

Brendan Mullin and Andrew Trimble are currently joint-ninth on 17 tries and while Conway wasn’t aware of the record list, he does remain focused on being a try-scoring threat. 

“I’ve spoken before about the writing down and the visualization stuff,” he says. “Adding try-scoring into that in terms of writing down ‘I’m a try-scorer,’ putting particular words around it that resonate with me helps.

“It almost beats it into yourself that this is what you are here to do and you are good enough to do it and you are going to do it.”

Conway was once again prominent chasing Ireland’s kicks last weekend, an area of the game in which he always excels.

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It’s going to be an important area of this weekend’s clash with France and Conway sees room for improvement with his aerial skills.

“It’s a massive part of the game,” says Conway. “They kick a lot. We pride ourselves as a back three and across the board on being good in the air.

“There are definitely work-ons with a couple of ones that I didn’t get into correctly. I got one back when Hugo [Keenan] put me a lovely ball up. I got one hand to another that Tadhg [Beirne] got scraps off.

“But there were two in the first half that my timing was wrong. They’re frustrating ones that you look back on after because one of the things I want to bring to the team is when a ball goes up and the kick is good enough for me to compete, I want us to be getting back a high percentage of them.

“So plenty of work to do but it is going to be a vital part of the game this weekend.”

Originally published at 16.51

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Murray Kinsella

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