CONNACHT blindside flanker Eoin McKeon believes his side will require little “geeing up” when they host Munster in this Friday’s inter-provincial PRO14 League clash in front of what is sure to be a packed house at the Sportsground (kick-off 7:35pm).
Then again, McKeon says that is the way it is for all the inter-provincial fixtures – not just Munster – and you get a sense these are the days the Galway native, a try scorer against Munster in the past, lives for.
“I suppose, at home anyway, they (inter-provincials) draw the biggest crowds and they tend to have the biggest bite in them as well,” he smiles. “So, they are enjoyable. You would be sore after them but they are what you kind of play rugby for. Playing against lads you know who are also your rivals.”
Connacht’s recent record bears testament to that. Of their last six meetings against Munster, the Westerners have won three, which included a 35-14 victory at the Sportsground on route to claiming the PRO12 title in 2016.
Former Colaiste Iognáid student McKeon grew up dreaming of days like those although he says he never thought the day would come he would be a professional rugby player sporting the green of Connacht Rugby.
“I was a ball boy here when I was younger. I was actually talking to one of the ball boys at the post match meal the last day and I said I was in the exact same position he was in going back 15 years ago or whenever it was. And it was the same at ‘Wegians (Galwegians).
“I never really thought when I was that young though that I would be playing in these sorts of games but it is nice to look back now and see (where I’ve come from). It is a bit nostalgic almost to be thinking that I have come from being the ball boy to actually playing,” remarks the 26-year-old.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.