Wednesday 26 April 2017

Marmion: I'm helped by team of leaders

Kieran Marmion. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Kieran Marmion. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

Declan Rooney

Connacht scrum-half Kieran Marmion says there is a responsibility on everyone in the squad to assume leadership roles as the province chases a maiden slot in the Champions Cup knock-out stages.

Chasing a vital win and the possibility of a bonus-point victory at home to Zebre, Marmion is conscious of being too confident against the Italians, but in five previous Champions Cup meetings Connacht have never lost to tomorrow's visitors.

Pat Lam's side also boast a better than 50pc winning rate at the Sportsground in the competition - they have won six of their 11 games in Europe's top competition at the venue - and the Ireland No 9 is keen to swell that statistic further tomorrow afternoon.

Despite just being 24 years old, Marmion has already represented Connacht 16 times in the Champions Cup but he still looks all around him for encouragement and leadership.

"In that backline that we have, I am one of the more capped players. We put a lot of onus on everyone stepping up and leading," said Marmion.

"There are lads in there like Tiernan (O'Halloran) and Jack (Carty) especially, they lead the back line as well. We share it out amongst each other."

A run of four defeats in the last five is worrying for Connacht supporters, but with some new faces to call on and an easing of the injury crisis, Marmion is confident.

"It has been tough because there was so many people out, people out of position, training in different roles that they are not used to," he said.

"But I guess we just have to do as much as we can and prepare ourselves as well as we can. Lads have just got on with it and we try and take as much confidence as well can out of training."

Irish Independent

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