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Bulked up Jordan Conroy given greenlight to keep 'big arms'

By Ian Cameron
Jordan Conroy of Ireland celebrates after the Men's Rugby Sevens final match between Ireland and Great Britain at the Henryk Reyman Stadium during the European Games 2023 in Krakow, Poland. (Photo By David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Ireland Sevens flyer Jordan Conroy – a try scorer at this weekend’s Dubai SVNS – has been permitted to retain his new,  bulked-up physique by the Irish Sevens programme.

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Conroy was sporting his new look, more heavily muscled frame at the tournament – the first leg of the revamped HSBC SVNS competition format.

The Athlone native caught up with RugbyPass at the Sevens Stadium in Dubai following Ireland’s quarter-final loss to Fiji. Despite a bright start to the tournament, which included wins over Australia and Spain, they lost their final pool game to Argentina before falling on the second day to an inform Fiji. Fiji ran riot in the first half before Ireland fought bravely before losing 29-24.

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“It just goes to show when you don’t have the ball, you can be in serious trouble. That’s just how the first half went, Fiji came out hot and firing and we were just kinda chasing the game,” said Conroy. “In the second half, we tried to turn it around. When we do have possession we are actually able to do things, it turned 180 on us and it kind of reflects the game of Sevens, as anything can happen at any moment.

“We kept at it, kept at it. Kept our cool… it was very unfortunate just to miss out by 5 points, which is a little frustrating as we came from 29 [points] behind. That’s the way that rugby goes.

After a long pre-season, Conroy has added an extra six kilos to his 6’2 frame, but it hasn’t slowed him down. Listed at just 78kg on the official HSBC SVNS website, the 29-year-old – who has been previously clocked at 10.3 metres a second on GPS – has in fact gone from 86kg when he first started playing Sevens to 92kg, and it’s muscle he’s added.

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“Pre-season was definitely needed. This is the first time we’ve had a 10 to 11-week pre-season to prepare for a season. Last year and the year before you had the pandemic and we had LA and the World Cup in the summer and then Hong Kong in October, November. It was 11 tournaments in one year which was pretty exhausting.

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“I tend to put on a lot of muscle in the weights room, but I have kept certain speeds up so they said it was alright.

“It adds a different dynamic to my game. I can carry a lot stronger now.

“You kind of have to switch up your game.  You kind of get figured out eventually if you’re on the circuit long enough. You can’t just run outside people now.

“I actually don’t know them [his current GPS sprinting stats], as we don’t get sent them,” said Conroy, who was recorded at 37-kph at the 2019 London Sevens. “I suppose when I first started I was 86kg, and I’m 92 now on a good day but on the series I’m 90kg. I’ve been able to keep the [GPS] numbers so I’m not too worried. That was the main focus.

“If need to slim down, I’ll slim down. If not, I’ll keep the big arms!”

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