Ultan Dillane would obviously prefer to be still in Irish camp, but having been released to play for Connacht this weekend, he knows Andy Farrell and his coaching team will be watching closely when they play Cardiff Blues on Saturday.
We might have mentioned this one before somewhere, but after a decade of inter-county football concluded last Saturday with Croke Park housing both the crowning of Dublin’s five in a row and a meeting where Central Council gave its blessing for a two-tier championship to be motioned at Special Congress, it’s worth revisiting how different things were at the start of the decade.
Tracey Leonard fired goals in each half as Galway claimed their third TG4 Connacht Ladies SFC title in a row, but they needed to fend off a strong Mayo comeback to claim the win in the first Connacht final staged in Munster.
Munster saw off interprovincial rivals Connacht in Limerick but still had to settle for second place in Guinness PRO14 Conference A as Glasgow Warriors beat Edinburgh to hold onto top spot and with it a home play-off semi-final tonight.
James Horan maintains the demands placed on players have not increased during the four years he was away from the inter-county scene, with the Mayo manager taking umbrage to the suggestion that players make sacrifices to wear their county shirt.
Galway football captain Damien Comer, who has not featured for the county this year because of an ankle injury, is hopeful of making his comeback in the Connacht final, should the Tribesmen reach a fourth successive provincial decider.
Connacht will have to plan without Irish duo Bundee Aki and Jack Carty for Saturday’s Conference A clash in the Guinness PRO14 clash with Ospreys, but they have been boosted by the availability of Quinn Roux and Ultan Dillane for the Sportsground clash.
There was little to suggest that when Bob McGann, a hurler and sportsman of some renown, left Monivea to join An Garda Síochána many decades ago that he would set in train a sequence which would see his own son become an Irish international out-half and, in turn, lead to the foundation of a rugby club back in the little Galway village that he left behind.