Saturday 24 August 2019

Ireland star Jack Conan gearing up for 'attritional war' at World Cup in Japan

Ambassador Jack Conan is photographed in Energia Park in Donnybrook for the launch of the #ThisIsMyDublin campaign promoting Dublin City Sportsfest 2019. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Ambassador Jack Conan is photographed in Energia Park in Donnybrook for the launch of the #ThisIsMyDublin campaign promoting Dublin City Sportsfest 2019. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Jack Conan has warned that Ireland must be prepared for a 'attritional war' at the World Cup in Japan, but insisted that they must be wary of peaking too early.

The powerful No 8 comes into the start of the block of warm-up games on the back of an outstanding season with Leinster and is now looking to become a regular in Joe Schmidt's starting XV.

The Bray native was part of Ireland's 2017 summer tour to Japan and knows exactly what to expect in the testing conditions.

"Looking to the World Cup, it's about not peaking too early," Conan insisted.

"And also getting lads game minutes to make sure they are ready for the big impacts and the attritional war that is going to be in Japan.

"It's all about training hard for these warm-up games, but not looking too far ahead of them because you need to take these opportunities and making sure you are ready to go."

Ireland were slow out of the blocks during what proved to be a disappointing Six Nations campaign earlier this year, and starting against Italy on Saturday, Schmidt's men are eager to rebuild momentum in their first of four warm-up games.

Conan, who made his international debut against Scotland in a warm-up game four years ago, ended up missing out on selection for the 2015 World Cup.

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Now, in the form of his career, he feels he is ready to make a big impact in Japan.

"I don't know when I am going to play or what opportunities I'll have in these four games; obviously I will get a nod at some point and then it's just about maximising those opportunities and building on that form that I showed last season.

"Personally, I think it was a very successful year for myself and obviously for Leinster as well.

"To finish with silverware was huge. Hopefully I can build on that level of consistency over the last 12 months into this upcoming campaign.

"It's not every year that something like the World Cup is on the line. It's a massive test for everyone.

"Even just being in different scenarios. We've been into Carton House every other week and around the country. It's different, it's a nice change.

"It's been a pretty intense few weeks. Joe, the S&C coaches and the rest of the coaches have been putting us through our paces pretty well for the last while.

"It's been tough but enjoyable. Pre-season is actually one of those times where you can kind of enjoy your bit of rugby more because as tough as it is, there is probably less pressure in the sense that there isn't a game every weekend.

"You get to go out, roll your sleeves up and get a lot of hard work done. You can enjoy just going out and training hard."

Jack Conan was speaking at the launch of the #ThisIsMyDublin campaign promoting Dublin City Sportsfest 2019.

Sportsfest is a week-long celebration of sport & physical activity from 23-29 of September. Everyone is encouraged participate regardless of age, ability or background. For more information visit http://www.dublincity.ie/sportsfest”

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