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Saturday 18 August 2018

Reddan won't be distracted

But Blues star admits Irish rival Marmion is on rise

This is a season that matters more than most.

Remove the next-ball, next-minute, next-match mantra so deeply embedded into the ethos of Leinster Rugby and you are left with the 2015 World Cup dangling right in front of your face.

Scrum-half Eoin Reddan refused to take the bate.

"Earlier on in my career I would have got really wrapped up in that," he said.

"Now, it is about making sure you are allowing the rest of the team to function really well.

"It's more about making sure I get my own job right. That's the way rugby has gone. You can win a game now by a lot of points without anyone actually standing out and being unbelievably incredible.

Dictates

"The more your team is operating as a team and everyone is doing their own role correctly: is the guy in the ruck fighting hard enough with the ball? That dictates how quick the ball is.

"If you are saving half-a-second in a ruck and get to 20 phases that is a lot of time, a lot of rest time the opposition don't get.

"The coaches I am involved with here and with Ireland would favour that; people look after their own jobs so you can build that tempo, which ultimately allows teams to put on pressure."

There is the length of a long season to go and the unknown measurement of how form can plummet, how injury can tear you away and how the improvement of others is outside your control.

For the moment, Reddan ranks number two behind Conor Murray for Ireland, not because he is definitively better than Isaac Boss, Kieron Marmion or even Tomás O'Leary, but because he brings something different to Murray, a change-up in speed of action.

Connacht's Marmion will make for a feisty foe down in The Sportsground on Friday night should Reddan earn his first start of the season.

"He has played a lot of rugby in-a-row which I think is great for a nine," said Reddan, in support of how game-time is the only real measure of whether a player blossoms or wilts.

"He can obviously get used to managing a lot of different situations on the pitch and he is going really well and enjoyed his (Ireland) tour in Argentina.

Negative

"No, he is pretty much about getting on with his work. I wouldn't say anything negative about the way he plays. He gets on with his own job very well. I watched him last week and he certainly did that last week."

An air of positivity has been generated around Connacht by their smart signings in the summer and their two wins at home to The Dragons and away to Edinburgh.

"This year is different again. They have got more continuity. They played a lot of rugby. The lads played their pre-season games. They are together and ready to go. They are smart," he said.

"Watching (out-half) Jack Carty, he knows when to pass it, when to kick and that just gives them a little wrinkle.

"Their decision-making is a lot better. That makes them a totally different prospect."

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