With Connacht calling, Lloyd is intent on balancing rugby with medicine

ANGUS LLOYD PUT everything on hold in hope of making a crust from rugby once before.

This time around, all systems will remain firmly set to go.

The 26-year-old will run out with Clontarf in Sunday’s All-Ireland League final at the Aviva Stadium, the culmination of what has been another terrific season for the scrum-half.

The scrum-half pictured at the Aviva Stadium ahead of Sunday’s AIL final. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

For the second time in his career, Lloyd has managed to play his way into the professional ranks through his form at club level. Trinity provided the springboard for his first taste of provincial rugby – with Ulster and then a loan stint at Munster – midway through this season, he took a call from Andy Friend and has been working hard to balance a host of commitments since.

That work pales in comparison to his curricular interests, though, and he is looking forward with no little trepidation to upcoming exams in his penultimate year studying medicine.

Before finals next year he will have a full-time deal with Connacht and his time will be stretched even tighter. Yet he is grateful to Friend, Andy Wood in Clontarf and, crucially, the RCSI for allowing him to chase dual targets.

“It’s going to be tough,” says Lloyd with a grave expression, “when I went to RCSI with it I didn’t think they’d say yes.

“When Connacht first approached me at Christmas, Andy Friend rang me asking would I be keen. (I said): ‘yeah I’d be really keen, but I have to figure it out with college.’

“Connacht have been very flexible and so have RCSI, both of them have been amazing. It will be tough, but I think it’s doable.

He worked hard to fit himself in around any flexibility offered his way too. Lloyd signed with Connacht in December and found himself getting worrying close to the field at the RDS within mere days.

“I trained on the Thursday, for like an hour, and then travelled down praying Caolin Blade got through the warm-up,” he jokes.

Since then, he has plunged himself into a rhythm of training with Connacht until the matchday 23 is decided. If he was out, it was back to the RCSI, back training with Clontarf. Then play with the Bulls of a Saturday before often heading in to hospital as part of placement work.