The postponement of the 2019/20 rugby season was disappointing for everyone involved; supporters, players, management, clubs and coaches.
For the players, there have been some positives, however. The opportunity to rehabilitate niggling injuries, some much-needed respite from the relentless pressure and mental toll that professional rugby brings and the chance to spend more time with loved ones and family have been welcome.
As the resumption of the 2019/20 campaign draws ever closer, players are increasingly getting excited at the prospect of being back out on the pitch. With that brings goal setting.
All rugby players will outline their goals for the coming season. Of course, they will be dependent on where that particular player is in their career and how ambitious they are.
For Munster and Ireland international Andrew Conway, he’s eyeing a pretty big prize in 2021 – to be selected by Warren Gatland for the British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa.
Andrew Conway’s Lions Ambitions
A difficult goal to achieve but by no means out of reach. Conway has been in excellent form for a long time now. He was one of Ireland’s best performers in what was an otherwise disappointing Rugby World Cup.
He followed this up by starting each of Ireland’s Six Nations fixtures under new head coach Andy Farrell. This was the first time in his career that he started three consecutive test matches for his country. As we know, lockdown brought a swift end to any further caps in the 14 jersey.
Conway will be keen to pick up from where he left off. Munster take on Leinster at the Aviva Stadium on August 22.
No better place to start.
“Yeah, of course [whether the Lions is on his radar],” Conway, who is a Pinergy ambassador, said on Wednesday morning.
“Jesus, like. If you’re playing international rugby and you’re not looking at the schedule and seeing what tour is the following year, then it’s obvious that a Lions tour is coming up.
“I’d have high expectations of myself, I feel like I have a really, really high work-rate. I think what you put in, you get out. I’ll get on that tour if I put the work in and perform. That’s how I’ll be looking at it.”
“There’s Not Point In Me Lying About It”
Players being quizzed on their Lions aspirations will be a recurring theme for the foreseeable future. It’s inevitable. Generally, when this occurs, players play down their chances, citing how they are only focussed on performing in the next game.
Andrew Conway is a little bit different, he’s not afraid to make those Lions ambitions public and he’s relishing the challenge of following through.
“Yeah, you’d imagine that’s the first port of call for getting in there. Being in the international window anyway, at least in the 23. And then perform in those big games against Wales, against England, against Scotland. Whatever it is against guys who you’re competing with to get on there.
“I’m definitely not afraid to say that I want to go on a Lions tour and that’s my ambition. I can say that all I want. There’s probably 60, 70, 80 or 100 players in the four nations that are thinking the same as me. I don’t think it’s something that we need to shy away [from] and I don’t need to be like, ‘Oh, that’s not something I’m thinking of.’ Because it is.
“There’s no point in me lying about it. But there’s a lot of work to do to get back playing on the pitch for Munster and get back into the Ireland team. All going well, if you do those things then the outcome will hopefully take care of itself.
“As much as that is there and it’s something that I’m thinking about, I’m very aware that the process to get there is something entirely different. That’s what I’ll be focussing on while in the back of my mind thinking that’s where I want to be.”
Munster Rugby player Andrew Conway was pictured today as he announced that Pinergy has re-branded to strengthen its core offering as an energy with insight supplier. To celebrate Pinergy’s re-brand and the return of competitive Irish rugby, Munster fans across Ireland can enter a competition for the chance to “fanergise” the Munster Rugby team by giving them a virtual team talk, ahead of their first game back against Leinster in the Guinness Pro14.
PINERGY will post across its social channels (Instagram: @pinergyie Twitter: @Pinergy or Facebook: @PinergyIRL) from today and for a chance to win, all fans need to do is reply to with a comment, photo or video demonstrating why they should be Munster Rugby’s 16th man and give the team talk. All entrants must tag @Pinergy and use #WeAre16. Four entries will be shortlisted and required to submit a 15 second video or audio clip to give a taste of their team talk so that Pinergy along with Munster Rugby’s Andrew Conway can select a worthy winner.