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Dublin: 2°C Friday 26 February 2021
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Roux proud to play part for Ireland with family watching on from South Africa

The Connacht lock is hopeful he has done enough to keep his place against England.

Roux scored his third try for Ireland on Friday night.
Roux scored his third try for Ireland on Friday night.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

QUINN ROUX HADN’T unlocked his phone yet but the number of notifications that had already popped up after Ireland’s win over Wales meant he knew there were going to be a heap of heartwarming messages waiting for him.

That had been the case after his previous 12 Ireland caps too, with these achievements meaning so much to so many people other than the players themselves.

With supporters still not allowed into games, it means there are no emotional post-match scenes in the flesh and video calls from the changing room have become the norm.

Roux, who is now a citizen of Ireland having initially qualified to play under rugby’s three-year residency rule, would have loved to welcome some of his family up from his native South Africa for his first Test appearance since last year’s Six Nations but they had to watch on from home.

“It’s unfortunate that there’s no family and, for me, family is very far away but I know they’re watching on and supporting me from all the way down there,” said Roux post-match in Dublin.

“Getting a good performance and a win makes you pretty proud and I’m sure they are proud of me.

“It’s really special and it makes it a lot nicer when you have a good performance and a good win.”

Roux’s excellent individual showing, his best yet for Ireland, certainly gave them plenty of cause for pride. The Connacht lock brought aggressive physicality for Andy Farrell’s side after being drafted into starting XV in place of Iain Henderson.

With his scrum and lineout work going well too, Roux delivered a strong enough showing to suggest he should start again in Twickenham this weekend against England.

“Unfortunately, I don’t pick the team, all I can do is play as well as I can,” said Roux with a smile. “Hopefully, I put up my hand tonight. There’s great competition in the squad so that drives everyone on to a higher level. We’ll see.

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quinn-roux-and-andrew-porter Roux was behind tighthead prop Porter at scrum time. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

“I haven’t been playing for a few weeks [before the Wales game], I got a bit of a bang on the shoulder but I thought I found some good form for Connacht at the start of the season, so I was dying to show what I can do on the international stage.”

Farrell had given Roux a pretty clear job brief before Friday night.

“Dominant set-piece and being dominant in the contact area – when I heard that, I was very happy and I thought I could add to the team be doing that,” said Roux, who also notched his third Ireland try with a powerful close-range pick and jam.

“I thought I did it in parts of the game, some parts maybe not as good as I wanted them to be, but that’s a strength of my game and that being the plan made me excited to show what I can do.”

The strong scrum performance, with Roux at tighthead lock behind prop Andrew Porter was encouraging for Ireland, although the Connacht man wasn’t taking the credit.

“Ask Ports. As long as he’s happy, I’ll be happy!

“You’ve seen in big games that when you have a dominant scrum, it’s such a weapon. When you can keep on using that weapon, it’s just something that puts you on the front foot and gives the forwards massive confidence and gives the backs massive confidence.

“I think next week will be a big challenge there, so we’ll have to be ready for that.”

About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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