Newcastle Falcons’ Brett Connon will turn out for Ireland U20s in this spring’s Six Nations tournament.
Earlier this week Brett Connon became the second Falcons Academy player to be called up for the forthcoming Six Nations international window when he was named amongst the Ireland U20s squad.
Having already represented the country at U18s level, the tournament will be the 19 year old’s first venture into the U20s international scene.
“It’s a big privilege to be selected for the U20s squad. I played U18s with Ireland so it feels like I’ve been part of the set up for a while, and I can hopefully push on now and play week in week out for them throughout the tournament.”
After signing his first full-time contract with the Falcons’ Senior Academy ahead of the 2015/16 season, Connon is the only member of Ireland’s 30 man squad based outside of the emerald isle.
“It’s a bit different being out of the loop over there but they’re very welcoming and there’s a few boys I know over there from being U18s so it’s easy to integrate in with the rest of the squad.”
Born in Carlisle, the former Austin Friars School qualifies for Ireland by way of his dad.
“My father is originally from Belfast so the Irish link goes through him. There was an option to choose England or Ireland but having played U18s for Ireland I stuck to my guns and chose them, and hopefully I’ll kick on from U20s.”
With a busy few weeks ahead as the U20s Six Nations tournament runs alongside its senior counterpart, Connon believes the Ireland squad are well-prepared to start 2016 in positive form.
“The camps went really well and our first trial game against Munster went well too. It’s hard to get everyone together in such a busy season but we’ve got a good squad and last year we did pretty well in the Six Nations, so hopefully we can go on from there and look to get some wins.”
One game Connon is particularly excited about is his side’s contest with England on 26th February, a game due to take place at Kingston Park Stadium.
“It’s home comforts for me so it would be nice to play in that game, and I think it’ll be good for my family to come and watch here rather than having to travel.”
With fellow Falcon Callum Chick recently named amongst England’s U20 squad for the tournament, the game could be an opportunity for Connon to turn out against his team mate.
“Obviously it’ll be a bit different to play against my housemate and there’s already been a bit of banter flying around since our other housemates have been part of England squads in the past too!
“But being here week in week out could make it a bit easier for me to play here than some of the other boys so it’ll be a bit more of a home game for me, which is good!”
Tickets for the England U20s vs Ireland U20s match are on sale now direct from Kingston Park Stadium starting from £10 for adults and £5 for juniors. Click here to find out more and get yours.