Connacht Rugby

  • There are three changes from the Senior Women's side that lost to Munster last time out for their clash with Leinster. Moya Griffin comes into the side at hooker where she forms a front row with captain Laura Feely and Annemarie O'Hora. There's also a new face in the second row with Denise Redmond starting alongside Amelie Roux. Tara Buggie, Edel McMahon and Nichola Fryday complete the pack.

    Midfield is unchanged with Nichole Fowley at out-half and Shannon Touhy and Catherine Martin at centre, while Mary Healy is named at scrum-half. There's a change in the back three with Jill Draper moving from full-back to the wing with Mairead Coyne at 15, while Orla Dixon is again named on the other wing.

    The action kicks off at 1pm when the U18 Girls aim to make it two wins from two when they host Munster, and the management team have made four changes from the side that snatched a late win over Ulster in Ballinasloe.

    Two of those are in the front row where Macy McDermott and Mia Fahy join Mary McLoughlin who moves to tight-head. The rest of the pack is unchanged with Jordan Hopkins and Eva McCormack forming the second row, and Emily Gavin, Lily Brady and Grace Browne Moran completing the set.

    Captain Aoibheann Reilly and Meabh Deely renew their half-back partnership, while there's a change at centre with Niamh Kenny coming in alongside Beibhinn Parsons. Finola Collins also comes in on the wing, with Hannah Guillane and Aine Galvin completing the back three.

    CONNACHT SENIOR WOMEN V LEINSTER (K/O 3PM SUNDAY 9TH SEPTEMBER)

    1 Laura Feely (Capt) – Galwegians
    2 Moya Griffin – Tullamore
    3 Annmarie O’Hora – Castlebar
    4 Denise Redmond – Galwegians
    5 Amelie Roux – Galwegians
    6 Tara Buggie – Galwegians
    7 Edel McMahon – Galwegians
    8 Nichola Fryday – Galwegians
    9 Mary Healy – Galwegians
    10 Nicole Fowley – Galwegians
    11 Orla Dixon – NUIG
    12 Shannon Touhy – Galwegians
    13 Catherine Martin – Suttonians
    14 Jill Draper – Tullamore
    15 Mairead Coyne – Galwegians

    16 Ciara O’Connor – Galwegians
    17 Elizabeth McNicholas – Tuam
    18 Julia Bauer – Suttonians
    19 Nicola Caldbeck – Tullow
    20 Clodagh Dunne – Old Belvedere
    21 Hilary Griffin – Tullow
    22 Jane O’Neill – Old Belvedere
    23 Rachel Healy – Railway Union

    CONNACHT U18 GIRLS V MUNSTER (K/O 1pm SUNDAY 9TH SEPTEMBER)

    1 Macy McDermott - Westport RFC
    2 Mia Fahy - Ballinasloe RFC
    3 Mary McLaughlin - Westport RFC
    4 Jordan Hopkins - Ballinasloe RFC
    5 Eva McCormack - Westport RFC
    6 Emily Gavin - Ballinasloe RFC
    7 Lily Brady - Westport RFC
    8 Grace Browne Moran - Westport RFC
    9 Aoibheann Reilly (Capt)- Ballinasloe RFC
    10 Meabh Deely - Ballinasloe RFC
    11 Hannah Gullane - Ballinasloe RFC
    12 Niamh Kenny - Ballinasloe RFC
    13 Béibhinn Parsons - Ballinasloe RFC
    14 Finola Collins - Ballina RFC
    15 Aine Galvin - Ballinasloe RFC

    16 Kayley Mannion - Westport RFC
    17 Claudia McNicholas - Ballinasloe RFC
    18 Sarah O’Rourke - Buccaneers RFC
    19 Hannah Johnston - Sligo RFC
    20 Nina Mathastein - Westport RFC
    21 Ava Ryder - Westport RFC
    22 Rian Callaghan - Buccaneers RFC
    23 Victoria Farrell - Buccaneers RFC

  • Connacht Junior Cup Semi-Finals
    Ballina 20-6 Connemara
    Sligo 13-11 Creggs

  • AIL Division 2C 
    Ballina 20-7 Malahide 

  • Ballina Rugby Club are seeking the help of anyone, near or far, in order to beat the weather and make sure one of the biggest games of the year is played this weekend.

    With weather conditions deteriorating rapidly, the club is making every effort to have their Heffernan Park pitch playable for Sunday's crucial top-of-the-table junior league game with Connemara.
     
    This morning, club President, William O'Connor has sent out a plea asking for help from the local farming community or agri suppliers.
     
    "A few years ago Connacht Rugby were in a similar position and they got a supplier to donate straw so that they could cover the pitch and make sure a big game could go ahead. 
    Today, we're wondering if there's anyone, or a group of people, out there who might help us in the same way.
    "If we could get enough straw to cover the pitch, we'd round up a band of volunteers who would help spread it on the surface and keep the ground soft.
    We want the game to go ahead and are doing everything we can to make sure it does. However, we need the help of the community on this occasion. I hope there's somebody out there who can help us."
     
    Any offers of help can be made by contacting 087 9394255
     
  • For many rugby fans in this part of the world, the changing weather signals the end of the club season and a well-earned break for players, coaches, officials and club officers. But there is still business to be done, and this coming Saturday, Ballinrobe RFC will host a Junior Interprovincial fixture for the first time ever.

    This year’s Connacht Junior squad, managed by Tuam’s Sean Higgins and Declan Slattery, will face off against Leinster in the opening fixture of the 3-match series in what is sure to be a mouth-watering encounter.

    The match day squad is not due to be named until later this week (Wednesday night) but there are 11 clubs from all over the province with players in the reckoning – Ballinrobe, Galwegians, Buccaneers, Monivea, Sligo, Tuam, Dunmore, Westport, Castlebar, NUIG and Ballina.

    From a local point of view its great to see four Mayo clubs represented with Ballinrobe trio of Daniel Keane, Rob Holian and Tom Staunton all in with a shout of making the squad for the opener this weekend on their home soil.

    Last season, number 8 Jack Winters was Ballinrobe’s only inclusion in the squad and the current Galwegians back-rower represented his former club with distinction.

    Keane and Holian were particularly impressive for Ballinrobe throughout the season and Tom Staunton was recently voted “Players Player of the Year” for 2018. Staunton, a native of Tourmakeady, will captain the club for the 2018/2019 season

    The game kicks off at 2.30 in The Green this coming Saturday and a huge crowd is expected.

  • Bundee Aki will make his first start of the season for Connacht against the Scarlets at the Sportsground tomorrow.

    The Irish international has been named in the centre as one of six changes.

    Former Munster back row Robin Copeland will make his debut for the Province in the at Number 8.

    Kick-off tomorrow at the Sportsground is at 5.15pm.

  • Castlebar have won promotion to the J1A League by defeating Galwegians 20-18 in the playoff today. 

  • Chris Ashton is back for Sale's European Challenge Cup clash with Connacht this Saturday.

    The England back has returned to the Sharks' squad after serving a seven week suspension.

    Sale's U-S-A international out-half A-J MacGinty will miss the visit of his former side, he's been ruled out until the New Year with a shoulder injury.

  • Connacht have been boosted by the return to fitness of full-back Tiernan O'Halloran for their game against Benetton.

     

    The Ireland international has made a swifter than expected recovery from a hamstring injury.

     

    Flanker Jarrad Butler and prop Denis Buckley also come into the side.

     

    Niyi Adeolokun and Ultan Dillane are both among the replacements.

  • Connacht have confirmed the signing of Robin Copeland.

    The back-row forward has signed a two-year contract at the Sportsground after it was announced last week he was to end his four-seasons with Munster.

    He will join Connacht at the end of the current season on a 2-year contract.

    Copeland has made over 60 appearances for Munster during four seasons with the club and previously played over 50 times with the Cardiff Blues.

    At international level, Copeland was capped for the Irish Senior International side when he made his debut against Georgia in November 2014. The back row has also represented the Irish Wolfhounds and Emerging Ireland sides.

     

  • Connacht have confirmed that they've parted ways with head-coach Kieran Keane.

    The 64-year-old had completed just one year of his three year term at the Sportsground.

    It was a disappointed season for the westerners who finished second bottom of Conference A of the Guinness PRO-14.

  • Connacht full-back Tiernan O'Halloran is a doubt for their Challenge Cup quarter-final next month after suffering a hamstring injury.

    The Ireland international came off after just eight minutes of the Westerners win against the Ospreys last weekend and the province say he'll be sidelined for 'a few weeks'.

    It also ends O'Halloran's chances of being called up to the Ireland squad for the rest of the Six Nations Championship.

  • Connacht are hoping to get back to winning ways after last weekend's defeat at Edinburgh when they host Scarlets at the Sportsground.

    Former Munster forward Robin Copeland makes his debut for Connacht at number-eight while Ireland centre Bundee Aki starts for the first-time this season in the quarter-past-five kick-off.

    Scarlets, who are chasing a third successive win, have welcomed Rhys Patchell back at out-half.

  • 1

    Aidan Leech (Creggs RFC)

    2

    Rory Grenham (Buccaneers RFC) Captain

    3

    Ryan O Meara (Buccaneers RFC)

    4

    Rob Holian (Ballinrobe RFC)

    5

    Eddie Dunning ( Westport RFC)

    6

    Rossa Dooley (Buccaneers RFC)

    7

    Stephen Joyce (Monivea RFC)

    8

    Roy Stanley (NUIG RFC)

    9

    Ryan Guilfoyle (NUIG RFC)

    10

    Niall Gray (Sligo RFC)

    11

    Tom Staunton (Ballinrobe RFC)

    12

    Daniel Keane (Ballinrobe RFC)

    13

    Matthew Mannion(Monivea RFC)

    14

    James Kennedy (NUIG RFC)

    15

    Dean McMahon (Buccaneers RFC)

     

    Substitutes

    16

    Ger Fahy (Monivea RFC)

    Hooker

    17

    Padraic Mannion (Monivea RFC)

    Prop

    18

    Michael McColgan (NUIG RFC)

    Prop

    19

    Vinny Lally (Monivea RFC)

    20

    Ross Hickey (Buccaneers RFC)

    21

    Alan Brandon (Creggs RFC)

    22

    Luke Staunton (Castlebar RFC)

    23

    Jack Rowland (Castlebar RFC)

     

  • Connacht Juniors Teamsheet

    Versus

    Ulster

    Location, Date & Time

    Ards RFC Newtownards Belfast – 5th May 2018 – Kick Off  2.30pm

    Connacht Team

    1

    Aidan Leech (Creggs RFC)

    2

    Rory Grenham (Buccaneers RFC) Captain

    3

    Shane McGuinness(Sligo RFC)

    4

    Rob Holian (Ballinrobe RFC)

    5

    Vinnie Lally ( Monivea RFC)

    6

    Rossa Dooley (Buccaneers RFC)

    7

    Stephen Joyce (Monivea RFC)

    8

    Roy Stanley (NUIG RFC)

    9

    Mickey Murphy (Ballina RFC)

    10

    Daniel Keane (Ballinrobe RFC)

    11

    Tom Staunton (Ballinrobe RFC)

    12

    Alex Corduff (Ballina RFC)

    13

    Matthew Mannion(Monivea RFC)

    14

    James Kennedy (NUIG RFC)

    15

    Ryan Guilfoyle (NUIG RFC)

         

     

    Substitutes

    16

    Ger Fahy (Monivea RFC)

    Hooker

    17

    Conor Mason (Ballina RFC)

    Prop

    18

    Michael McColgan (NUIG RFC)

    Prop

    19

    Eddie Dunning (Westport RFC)

    20

    Ross Hickey ( Sligo RFC)

    21

    Alan Brandon (Creggs RFC)

    22

    Luke Staunton (Castlebar RFC)

    23

    Dean McMahon (Buccaneers RFC)

  • Connacht will be aiming to beat Ulster in Belfast for the first time in 58 years tonight.

    The Northern Province have recalled Ireland captain Rory Best and wing Jacob Stockdale.

    Connacht captain Jarrad Butler has returned from injury to take his place in the Connacht starting team to face Ulster on Friday in Kingspan Stadium (Kick off 7:35pm).

    Butler is one of four changes to the Connacht side that started against Leinster last weekend. Academy player Paul Boyle also comes into the back row where he is named at number 8.

    There is one change in the front row as Tom McCartney starts at hooker in place of the injured Dave Heffernan who captained the team against Leinster. The remainder of the front 5 is unchanged with props Denis Buckley and Finlay Bealham both included as is Ultan Dillane and Quinn Roux in the second row. 

    Jack Carty and Kieran Marmion continue their half back partnership as do Bundee Aki and Tom Farrell in the midfield. 

    Matt Healy’s return from injury on the wing sees him included in a back three that includes Niyi Adeolokun on the opposite wing and Tiernan O’Halloran at full back. 

    The Connacht team to face Ulster tonight is as follows.

    Connacht: Tiernan O’Halloran; Niyi Adeolokun, Tom Farrell, Bundee Aki, Matt Healy; Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion; Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney, Finlay Bealham; Ultan Dillane, Quinn Roux; Sean O’Brien, Jarrad Butler (C), Paul Boyle

    Reps: Shane Delahunt, Peter McCabe, Conor Carey, James Cannon, Colby Fainga’a, Caolin Blade, Kyle Godwin, Cian Kelleher

  •  

    Connacht Rugby have announced the signing of back row Colby Fainga’a from Australian Super Rugby side the Melbourne Rebels.

    The 27-year-old made his Super Rugby debut playing for the Brumbies when Andy Friend was their Head Coach in 2010 and went on to play every game for the club in the 2011 season.

    In 2014 Fainga’a joined the Rebels and in his first season was awarded the highest honour in the club when he was named the Players’ Player of the year.  This achievement was followed by his appointment as co-captain of the Melbourne Rising side in 2015.

    The versatile back row has gone on to make 100 Super Rugby appearances, the latest coming in the Rebels clash with the Reds last weekend.

    At international level, Fainga’a captained the Australian Under 20s side in 2011 and made 7 appearances that season.

    Fainga’a will join up with the Connacht squad on the conclusion of the Rebels Super Rugby Season.

     

  • Connacht Rugby has announced the fixture list for the 2018/2019 Connacht Senior League and Junior 1A, 1B and 1C Leagues.

    The newly expanded five-team Senior League gets underway on the 18th August, when the returning Ballina RFC host Sligo RFC and Corinthians RFC make the short trip to Galwegians RFC.

    Buccaneers RFC are the last team to get their Senior League campaign underway - they're in action the following week away to Ballina.

    Sligo's final game of the league comes on the 8th September at home to Corinthians, while the remaining four teams conclude their league campaign seven days later when Galwegians host Ballina and Corinthians meets Buccaneers.

    The top ranked team will be crowned Connacht Senior League champions, but there's also plenty at stake with regards the Connacht Senior Cup with the top three teams qualifying for the tournament.

    The Connacht Senior League winners will qualify directly for the Connacht Senior Cup Final, where they'll play the winners of a semi-final between the teams that finish 2nd and 3rd in the Connacht Senior League.

    In the Junior League the action across the three divisions gets underway on Sunday 16th September.

    The opening weekend of the 1A League sees Buccaneers RFC host Sligo RFCCastlebar RFC face Galwegians RFCWestport RFC make the trip to Creggs RFC and Monivea RFC face Connemara RFC.

    The eight teams will play a double round-robin across 14 rounds, concluding on 3rd March 2019.

    The same format applies to the Junior 1B League where eight teams also begin their campaign on 16th September.

    That day sees Loughrea RFC host Ballinrobe RFCNUIG RFC face Corrib RFCTuam RFC meet Corinthians RFC and Dunmore RFC make the trip to Ballinasloe RFC.

    Seven teams will compete in the Junior 1C League across the same 14 rounds, with every team availing of two free weeks.

    On the opening day it's OLBC RFC against Corinthians RFCBallina RFC against Ballyhaunis RFC and Oughterard RFC versus Portumna RFC, while Creggs RFC begin their league on the 23rd September with the visit of Oughterard.

    The Junior 1B and 1C Leagues also conclude on 3rd March 2019.

  • Connacht Rugby has announced a 30 million Euro redevelopement plan for the Sportsground in Galway.

    The development will include a new stadium with a 12,000 spectator capacity, a new high-performance centre and will maintain the existing greyhound racing track.

    The arrangement with their co-tenants Irish Greyhound Board will ensure that rugby fixtures and greyhound racing events will continue at the venue

  • Connacht Rugby have announced a 30 million Euro redevelopment plan for the Sportsground

    The development will include a new stadium with a 12,000 spectator capacity, a new high-performance centre and will maintain the existing greyhound racing track.

    The arrangement with their co-tenants Irish Greyhound Board will ensure that rugby fixtures and greyhound racing events will continue at the venue.

    The CEO of Connacht Rugby, Ballina native Willie Ruane today's announcement is the culmination of around three years assessment and planning.

    Fine Gael TD for Galway West, Hildegarde Naughton says that the new plans will result in both sporting and economic benefits to Galway and the broader region, with Connacht Rugby already estimated to be worth €34.4 million to the regional economy.