Friend tells Carty ‘relax’ and play his way back onto Irish squad

Connacht coach Andy Friend has told Jack Carty not to panic over his surprise omission from the Irish squad and he’s confident the 27-year old can play his way back on to the international stage.

Friend tells Carty ‘relax’ and play his way back onto Irish squad

Connacht coach Andy Friend has told Jack Carty not to panic over his surprise omission from the Irish squad and he’s confident the 27-year old can play his way back on to the international stage.

And Friend said that Carty need look no further than his Connacht teammates Ultan Dillane and Quinn Roux, both who failed to make the cut for the World Cup but were included this week’s in Andy Farrell’s first Irish squad.

But while the two lock forwards have got plenty of game-time this season, an added complication for Carty is that 22-year Conor Fitzgerald has got hold of the No.10 jersey at the Sportsground and with Friend vowing to pick on form, is showing no signs of giving it up.

“Conor Fitz continues to go well for us,” said Friend as he prepares for Saturday’s derby with Munster at the Sportsground where Fitzgerald, having been released from the Munster academy 18 months ago, is obviously keen to have a crack.

“We said the whole way along we do want to pick on form. If we have got a young bloke who is playing good football we are going to keep him there. We do want to work with Jack and we are really conscious Jack does need time in the saddle there. But it is always what is best for Connacht at this point in time.

“The message to Jack is take it easy. He had a good chat with Andy Farrell too and he was very comfortable with that. When you have been there and now you are not there you do start to question.

You start to search and you are looking for things. It is a tricky spot to be, and it is easy to say relax and be patient. But that is literally the message. Just relax and be patient and trust your game and your instinct.

Friend said Dillane and Roux went back to basics with Connacht after their World Cup disappointment and he has full faith in Carty playing his way back into the Irish squad as well.

Carty started against Japan and came off the bench against Scotland and Russia in the World Cup but despite current injuries to Jonathan Sexton and Joey Carbery, was not included in Farrell’s squad this week.

“Jack just has to trust his instinct. His instinct is brilliant,” added Friend. “He is one of the most complete footballers who sees the game better than most that I have ever seen. That is what we saw last year, Jack saw chip-space at the back of the field, he chipped and he did it.

"If he saw kick-space to go deep, he did that. If he saw a short ball he did that. If he saw a chance to go through a hole and off-load he did that. Whereas at the moment he is probably trying to find those things rather than relax and allow it to come to him.”

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