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'I'm not going anywhere' - Healy determined to remain part of Farrell's plans

The 34-year-old prop says that 12 years into his international career, he remains as driven as ever.

Ireland prop Cian Healy.
Ireland prop Cian Healy.
Image: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

ONE OF THE most interesting aspects of this November window has been getting the view of some of the Ireland squad’s more established, senior players.

Last week we heard Keith Earls speak of how he felt this current group were getting to know each other on a “deeper level” than any other squad he can remember.

Following Sunday’s defeat of Argentina, Peter O’Mahony went as far as labeling this window as “the most enjoyable month of his career.”

Cian Healy also seems to be enjoying himself, coming off the bench to score a second-half try against the Pumas, and getting singled out for praise by Farrell after the game.

“It was brilliant,” says Healy, reflecting on the last month.

“Everyone was pushing each other. We’ve had it before in camps, everyone drives standards and sometimes you don’t see the results of the pressure on each other. But to get some good results in this series has certainly made that feel better. 

“We all have such a great time in camp together. We have all the covid measures which limit some things we do, but we’ve found ways to do things safely and still have craic and still make it feel like a regular camp, so it’s been good.” 

For Healy, the presence of hungry young players also serves as motivation. Instead of looking over his shoulder, the 34-year-old find himself driving others.

“It’s class. It’s deadly. I think it’s so important to environments to see people coming through and see people getting opportunities. 

Go back to the beginning of November, I was dying for a game before I got the opportunity and angry that I wasn’t getting the opportunity earlier, and that’s the way it should be when the lads are coming through. If you’re good enough, you’re old enough, and they’ve certainly shown that.

“I think as a whole we are building pretty well, just getting everyone on the right page and playing the style of rugby that we want to. 

“As a progression thing, I don’t know. You would probably take some positives and negatives from each game, but as a block of games it’s certainly a progression from before.”

This run of games has also allowed Farrell get a look at his dynamic new front row of Andrew Porter, Ronan Kelleher and Tadhg Furlong.

jeronimo-de-la-fuente-tackles-garry-ringrose-and-cian-healy Cian Healy lends a hand as Garry Ringrose is tackled by Argentina's Jerónimo De La Fuente. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Mixing power with skill and good decision making, the trio have the potential to grow into a world class combination. 

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Healy has no major problems with playing a bench role, but he’s also determined to keep pushing for a place in the starting team. Twelve years into his international career, the fire still burns inside the veteran prop.

“At the end of the day you are representing your country, and it doesn’t matter what number it is (on your back), if you get an opportunity to get on the field you have to be doing your best and push the lads on and put pressure on Killer (Dave Kilcoyne) and Ports to try and get that position myself.

“And that’s going to bring them up as well, and we have to do each other justice. If you were to just lax off and not push people for that number one spot, then you’re probably not going to end up in camp. That’s the realistic part of it.

“So you have to push standards, and my desire to push those standards is the same as ever, and I’m loving every minute of what I do. So I’m not going anywhere.” 

BTL 5

About the author:

Ciarán Kennedy

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