Blade delighted to take his chance
Connacht's Caolin Blade is delighted to have taken his chance in green in what has been a breakthrough season for the Monivea native.
The 22-year-old has been a real find for Pat Lam's side in the last few seasons, but it is this year that he has come to the fore with appearances in all 15 of his side's Pro12 games.
In recent matches Blade has proved a real danger around the fringes and has scored tries in consecutive games against Dragons and Treviso, and he also ran in a try in the Champions Cup against Zebre in January.
Facing the Italians again tonight, Blade will be eager to impress once more, and he says he has been thrilled to get a good run in the team this season.
"Individually, yeah, I'm pretty happy. I think for the Dragons game Kieran (Marmion) was pulled out late when he got called up to the Irish camp," said Blade.
"I've been involved in quite a few games because John Cooney was injured at the start of the season, which allowed me to get my chance. And Kieran has been up with Ireland, which I'm delighted for him as well.
"But it's about doing my job when I play and not trying to force things."
Three wins in a row has been a real lift for the whole Connacht squad, but Blade knows they need to take their chances if they are to push into the top six.
"Against Dragons we left a point behind us. We got off to a good start and were 14-0 up after 14 minutes.
"Individual errors and forcing things crept into out game. When we do make a line-break or get chances, we have to capitalise on them and finish clinically."