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The Guinness Pro 14 has done two great video interviews with Connacht head coach Andy Friend
The Australian is coming up to two years now living in Ireland. Friend has a bit to go in terms of the successes achieved by Pat Lam and John Muldoon. However, he is putting his own stamp on things out West. However, he guided them to a Pro 14 final last season only to lose out. The men from the West were going quite well until the virus struck but Friend remains upbeat and says he loves the city of Galway and the people.
Speaking to Sean Holley he said, “What struck Kerri – my wife – and I is that when we came across to Connacht to meet with them, I was so impressed by the people we met,”. He continued, “Galway is a brilliant city; it has a heartbeat of its own and it is a great place to enjoy yourself.”
He went on to say he always had a love for Galway. When he came to Galway in 2007 with Harlequins he said” It was a tough experience but that there was a real spirit and the blokes played played some footie we weren’t expecting”.
Friend was asked what directives he gave his players once he knew that training and games wouldn’t be played once the coronavirus landed on our shores. Friend said, “When we went into this, we said there were three big things for us as a squad that we really wanted to focus in on,”. He said number 1, was to do whatever you need to do to keep you and your family, number 2 was stay connected, while number 3 was to come back better at something. He said this could be anything from a better husband, reader or anything along as you were better at it.
Friend was asked about his time working with Eddie Jones at the Brumbies. He said, “In order to get on with Eddie, at one stage you have to stand for something”. He continued, “We had our moment 12-18 months into our relationship but now knowing him for over 20 years he was basically challenging my thoughts. However, he stated that Jones has been a terrific mentor for and he owes him, “Eddie has a great way of testing people and ever since that moment he has been a brilliant mentor to me and a great friend. I owe him a lot.”
GALWAY IS A GREAT CITY