Carty ready to battle as Adeolokun form catches Schmidt's eye
Published 05/10/2016 | 02:30
Niyi Adeolokun could be set to become the latest Connacht player to be capped by Ireland after he was called up to Joe Schmidt's squad for Monday's one-day camp in Carton House.
Following in the footsteps of fellow Connacht winger Matt Healy, Adeolokun could become the latest ex-AIL player to make the jump to the international game following a blistering start to the season.
One of six of Pat Lam's squad to take part in training at Carton House on Monday, the 25-year-old former Trinity flyer has scored three tries from his four outings in the Pro12 this season ahead of the reigning champions' crucial inter-provincial derby with Ulster in the Sportsground this weekend. Once again out-half Jack Carty will play a central role for Connacht where he faces off against former Ireland U-20 team-mate Paddy Jackson - both No 10s missed some crucial kicks last weekend but Connacht beat Edinburgh and Ulster defeated Ospreys.
However, despite the impending arrival of Springbok Marnitz Boschoff, Carty (24) says he doesn't feel the pressure to keep his place in the team.
"I've had plenty of time to lay down a marker in the first couple of games and pre-season. The first couple of games weren't where I wanted them to be in terms of performance," said Carty.
"I was happy enough with how I went at the weekend. Obviously lots to work on, goal-kicking is one of the glaring issues that the first three went well but then I went away from what I worked on.
"It wouldn't be in my head that I have to lay down a marker, I am just going to go through what I go through every week.
"And then hopefully the performance will look after itself."
The Athlone native has played 58 times for Connacht and scored three tries since his debut in 2012-'13. And he knows that this Round 6 clash with league leaders Ulster will be another closely-fought affair.
"Ulster has been the one team since Pat Lam has been here that we haven't got any results against," he said.
"If you look at their backline they have a South African international at nine, and then they have Ireland internationals all across the backline and then an All Black.
"With that up front, they have a quite big, physical pack. So we know it's going to be physical. It's going to be the small percentages that win the game for us."
Meanwhile, skills coach Dave Ellis is to leave Connacht and return to his native New Zealand after accepting a role with Auckland Blues.