Friday 23 February 2018

Competition is vital in the No 10 shirt

Andrew Deegan. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Andrew Deegan. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile

It was good to see Andrew Deegan get an opportunity to play 80 minutes against Cardiff Blues last weekend, and it adds plenty of competition in a key area of the pitch for Connacht, writes Ronan Loughney.

Out-halves play such a pivotal role in the game-plan. People often think it is better for a coach to place faith in one player and persist with him as much as possible throughout the year.

But when you think back to 2015-'16, although AJ MacGinty played a big role in the semi-final and final, over the course of the year the responsibilities were shared between him, Jack Carty and Craig Ronaldson. But the main reason why we actually got there in the end was because of the depth in the ranks.

Due to Marnitz Boshoff's injuries last year, Jack played a lot of rugby until Steve Crosbie came in, and offered reprieve in a few games. I have no doubt that Jack would have benefited from being rested at some stage and also from the competition that another fit out-half would have offered. This season it will be great to have another player in the squad who has played at Super Rugby level.

It will take time for Deegan to bed in and get fully acquainted with the game-plan at the Sportsground, but I think his addition will bring a welcome depth and add important competition in the position.

Irish Independent

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