Friday 19 January 2018

Quins rematch a dream ticket for Marmion

John Fallon

Promising Connacht scrum-half Kieran Marmion knows he will have to be on his feet when Harlequins visit the Sportsground tomorrow evening -- he was fairly busy when the English champions visited in January -- checking the tickets on the turnstiles.

The 20-year-old academy player was earning a few extra euro when Conor O'Shea's side came to Galway nine months ago, but he will have a different set of duties this time as Connacht bid to repeat their memorable 9-8 win.

Injuries to regulars Frank Murphy and Paul O'Donohue created an opening during the summer at scrum-half and Marmion, an Ireland U-20 star for the past two seasons, jumped at the chance -- he has started every game this season.

"I was lucky to get the chance at the beginning of the season," said Marmion, who grew up in Brecon in Wales but who has strong Galway connections. "My grandad and nan are from Loughrea. To come over here, having a family here has made it a lot easier."

Marmion was picked up initially by the IRFU Exiles branch before being offered a place in the Connacht academy.

"I played a lot with Corinthians last season and quite a bit with the Irish U-20s," said Marmion, who was a key player for Ireland at the Junior World Championships.

Connacht are drawing hope from January's victory over Quins, but Marmion said: "I wasn't involved that night. I was working collecting the tickets on the door. It's great to be involved this time."

Irish Independent

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