Stockdale, Conway and Larmour join forces on Ireland duty

Joe Leavey
09 February 2020

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What do you get when a Munster right wing, an Ulster left wing and a Leinster full-back start in the same back three?

The answer, it seems, is a fearsome proposition for any opponent. Case in point? Ireland’s standout 24-14 Guinness Six Nations win over Wales on Saturday.

Conor Murray, Tadhg Furlong and CJ Stander all came in for plaudits as the men in green ended Wales’ eight-match unbeaten run in the Championship, but it was in the fearsome trio of Jordan Larmour, Andrew Conway and Jacob Stockdale where Andy Farrell’s side won the game.

A BURGEONING RELATIONSHIP

More often seen plundering the cause domestically in red, white and blue, their chance to feature alongside one-another gives a brief window into what the back three in a potential Guinness PRO14 all-star team could look like.

But, now with back-to-back starts under their belts, Conway, Stockdale and Larmour seem to be going from strength to strength.

Their attacking potency is clear for all to see: Stockdale made 116m in Dublin, Larmour 103m; Conway made three line breaks, Stockdale four; Larmour carried 14 times and broke a pair of tackles.

On the scoreboard, it was only Stockdale’s name that did not feature, with Larmour and Conway bookending the game’s scoring – the former opening things up with a characteristically bullish finish and the latter darting over late on.

New head coach Farrell will be delighted by the fact that the trio now seemingly pick themselves and could well do for years to come; Conway, at 28, is the senior of the group, while Stockdale and Larmour are just 23 and 22 respectively.

PRAISE FROM ON HIGH

It was a display that certainly did not escape the perception of Ireland skipper Johnny Sexton, who was quick to laud the trio in his post-match press conference.

“When we get the ball in our back-three’s hands, something can happen, and they showed that. They stuck to the tactics really well in terms of when we got on the edge,” he explained.

“The temptation is always to run but they got us field position at times brilliantly and some our shape was really good – what we’ve been working on – and we won.”

And from the stands, it appeared that Farrell was left equally impressed.

“He (Conway) was outstanding on both sides of the ball. We want our wings to go 100 percent and he defined that,” he said.

“I thought Jacob did the same on the other wing as well. I actually think we created some space for them to play into some holes in that first half, which was really pleasing.”

“IT’S PRETTY EXCITING”

Old rivalries will take centre stage once more as the trio take a week off from Six Nations duties, with the Guinness PRO14 returning for Round 11.

And though it won’t be long before Messrs Larmour, Conway and Stockdale are all back in domestic colours and fighting against one another for the Guinness PRO14 title, the Ulster wing is looking forward to the chance to spend just a little bit more time alongside his sometime foes, in green.

“It’s pretty exciting,” Stockdale said.

“Every time Jordan or Andrew Conway gets the ball you’re just like, what will happen next?

“It’s exactly the way we want to be playing. Andy Farrell’s come in and given us the license to play fast and go to space whenever we see it; I think we’re definitely reaping the rewards off the back of that.”

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