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Coach Friend proud after Roux's call-up

By John Fallon

Quinn Roux said that his prime focus after being left out of Ireland's Six Nations squad last week was to continue to play well for Connacht and be ready if an opportunity arose.

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And the 28-year-old, who captained Connacht for the first time in their 33-27 win against Bordeaux, got his opportunity quicker than expected when he was drafted into the squad by Joe Schmidt yesterday following the injury to Tadhg Beirne.

The South African native is now spending this week in warm-weather training camp in Portugal with Ireland rather than at the Sportsground preparing for Connacht's PRO14 game away to Cardiff Blues.

"Some you win, some you lose," Roux said was his reaction when he wasn't included last week. "I just had to make sure I play well and hopefully would get my next opportunity. All my focus was with Connacht."

Roux produced a stunning display in Bordeaux which he crowned with only his third try in 91 appearances as Connacht booked a Challenge Cup quarter-final spot with Sale Sharks.

And while Roux may have been disappointed to be initially left out of the squad, he had plenty of advice for newcomers Tom Farrell, Caolin Blade and Jack Carty, who were selected along with Bundee Aki and Ultan Dillane.

"We're really proud of them so hopefully they can get some opportunities in the next few weeks and show what they can do on the biggest stage," he said.

Connacht coach Andy Friend said Roux showed his quality by leading the side to victory in France on Saturday.

"It was Quinn's first time as the run-on skipper. He's a great leader, a man highly regarded and respected," he said. "We are really proud of all these boys to get that call-up for Ireland."

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