Monday 5 December 2016

Bealham desperate to push on

Daragh Small

Published 22/04/2016 | 02:30

Connacht's Finlay Bealham in action during squad training. Sportsground, Galway. Photo: Paul Mohan/Sportsfile
Connacht's Finlay Bealham in action during squad training. Sportsground, Galway. Photo: Paul Mohan/Sportsfile

Ireland prop Finlay Bealham says goal number one has been achieved but Connacht need to push on and secure a play-off place against Treviso next time out.

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The Pro12 takes a break this weekend, with the European Champions Cup and Challenge Cup taking centre stage. And the 24-year-old tighthead is deserving of his rest, after 27 appearances for his province already this season.

Prior to 2015-16, Bealham had only featured 26 times for Connacht but he has blossomed under the tutelage of forwards coach Jimmy Duffy this term.

He dedication and fantastic scrummaging hasn't gone unnoticed internationally either, as Joe Schmidt gave him his first cap in Ireland's Six Nations victory over Italy, where five of the Connacht contingent were on the field at the same time.

Bealham can also pack down at loosehead and his versatility has made him a very useful weapon for Pat Lam this season.

Last weekend's showing, where he played a massive role in dismantling the Munster scrum was further evidence of his growth.

The former Ulster underage prospect, and native of Australia, says that the support has been unbelievable but the team need to keep on delivering.

"We set our goal out to get top six and now we've done it," he said.

"We will be looking to Treviso now and prep accordingly for that. And look to continue the season we have got.

"The crowd was unbelievable against Munster. There were a few times when I was blowing pretty hard and it just gives you that lift. The atmosphere is great, they support us out here through thick and thin and massive credit to the fans."

Irish Independent

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