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Dublin: 10 °C Friday 18 October, 2019

Butler backs 'smart' playmaker Godwin to thrive in Connacht midfield

‘He could always carry strongly, early on that was his strength, but now he is a very good ball player.’

Butler training with the Wallabies in Ireland in 2016.
Butler training with the Wallabies in Ireland in 2016.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

CONNACHT FLANKER JARRAD Butler has backed his former Brumbies teammate Kyle Godwin to be a huge success out west.

The pair played together at Super 14 franchise Brumbies, and after Butler has impressed massively in his first season in Connacht, Australian international Godwin will link up with him in the autumn after the end of the southern hemisphere season.

And while the talented midfielder will add plenty to Connacht’s creativity, Butler expects him to be an immediate leader in Kieran Keane’s side.

“I think one of the main things is his smarts, he communicates that as well on the field. Maybe he’s not a ‘bang your chest’ leader but definitely he’s kind of a ‘follow me and I’ll support you’ guy. I think he is going to go well,” said Butler.

“He’s been really building as a player, he’s had a good start to the season so far with the Brumbies too. He’s a really good guy off the field as well, he’ll bring a lot of personality I think. A bit of a larrikin sometimes, I think he’ll fit in to the group really well.

“He is a really good distributor now as well. He could always carry strongly, early on that was his strength, but now he is a very good ball player.

“I’m excited for him to come down I think he’ll fit in really well. I don’t know how he’ll go with the cold weather at first but once he gets his head round that he’ll be alright.”

Jarrad Butler Butler has been a stand-out performer since moving to Connacht. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

A narrow defeat to Cheetahs in South Africa dented Connacht’s PRO14 hopes before the two-week lay-off, but they will hope to return to winning ways at home to an Edinburgh team who have already beaten Leinster, Ulster and Munster since the start of February.

The following week they welcome Gloucester to the Sportsground for their Challenge Cup quarter-final and Butler expects a big final few weeks for the men in green.

“Everyone is really looking forward to this block now, it’s very much in the business end, you are playing to keep playing.

“We have a massive one this week. Obviously it is going to be immensely physical, but that’s what we need coming into this block, a real test.

“Going into Gloucester and from where it goes form there. We are just really excited and this is the part of the season you really want to be playing your best footie. Hopefully we do that.”

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Declan Rooney

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