Ireland Sevens star Jordan Conroy is excited to play competitive rugby again as the World Rugby Sevens Repechage begins on Saturday.
Ireland’s record try scorer is looking forward to playing against WSeries rivals in Monaco where the country will look to earn the last qualification spot for the Olympic games.
Conroy said that it is nice to back in a competitive environment once again and that he was focused on the goal ahead.
The changes to the game because of the pandemic have not affected that focus.
“I have tunnel vision and I just [focus on my job on the pitch],” said Conroy.
In this context, his tunnel vision is aimed at Zimbabwe, Ireland’s first opponents in the Repechage.
If Ireland is successful in Monaco, Tokyo awaits.
The 27-year-old said that it would be a huge honour to represent Ireland at the Olympic games, something he once dreamed about when he was interested in athletics.
However, he does not put too much pressure on himself to achieve this, rather choosing to be confident in his ability.
“Hong Kong was a different kind of ball game because it was my first tournament – a lot of things on the line, I was very nervous but then going through all the other World Series tournaments you adjust to that pressure, and it becomes second-nature.”
His mother attended the 2019 Hong Kong Sevens where Conroy dazzled and won Player of the Tournament after topping the scoring charts with 10 tries.
Unfortunately, his mother will not be able to watch him in Tokyo if Ireland is successful.
No foreign fans can attend the sporting event in Japan because of COVID-19.
“It is what it is at the end of the day. I got to have her in Hong Kong which was special. Obviously, not having family or friends over there is a bummer but the time we are in, it is understandable.”
The winger noted that his fitness levels went down during the last year and that it took time until he felt at his best again.
The Tullamore speedster detailed how he thinks that he gained the lockdown pounds.
He said was doing his running in the mornings and spending the rest of the day in his house.
Even though he was eating the same, Conroy feels that this change affected his body in a way he perceived to be negative.
“I was a little bit more physical, but my game is being the speedy guy and it felt off. I wasn’t happy with it.”
However, by the time the side played Great Britain in May, the Tullamore winger felt that he was back at the top of his game.
Conroy noted that it was good for him mentally to get back to a standard that he was happy with.
The 27-year-old added that working with a nutritionist helped him to get back in the saddle.
He now feels ready to help his national team in their bid for the final Olympics spot.
“I’m there to go with the lads and win but also I want to show the world why I was the top try scorer.”