Friday, January 11, 2019

BALLON man Tom Daly has described his recent loan move from Leinster to Connacht as a positive step.

His career had stalled in Dublin as he attempted to re-establish himself after recovering from a series of injuries which left him sidelined for months on end.

He sealed his move shortly before Christmas and made his debut for his new club against an almost full-strength Munster side in the Guinness PRO 14 on Saturday at the Galway Sports Ground.

A bonus point 31-24 defeat was to be Connacht’s lot but Daly played 72 minutes and while defeat is never easy to take, he came through the game well.

The decision to move was a no-brainer for Daly. Connacht head coach Andy Friend contacted the Leinster player in December to enquire if he would be interested in coming on board as the Westerners were struggling with injuries in a number of positions.

It didn’t need much to persuade Daly and the move to the end of the season was agreed with the player and the two provinces.

“I thought it would be a good opportunity to get some game time and show what I could do because I have been sitting around in Leinster. I know I have had injuries and a fresh start was what I needed,” explained Daly after the Munster game.

The new Connacht centre was joining a number of former team-mates who have successfully made the move west.

“It was a pretty big one to be thrown into. A nice one to start off the journey in green. It went pretty well so I was very happy. I was also playing with Tom Farrell and Cian Kelliher whom I had played with before.”

Daly came through unscathed which is never an easy thing to do against the former European champions.

“Munster  are one of the most physical teams in the league and they had almost a full-strength side out. They had Peter O’Mahony, Joe Carbery and a lot of other first team players. It was a good test for me and I was delighted to compete at that level.”

The Carlow man has moved to Galway now where he will share a house with a number of other Connacht players. He is looking forward to the rest of the season.

“It is perfect. It is ideal and I am training here five days a week. It is what I needed to get my name out there and get more game time,” he said.

Meanwhile Ed Byrne and Andrew Porter who also have Carlow connections played the last 29 minutes for Leinster in their 40-7 demolition of Ulster on Saturday in the RDS.

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