Connacht Rugby

  • Connacht have been given some renewed stability with the news that three of the province's coaching staff have signed contract extensions.

    Attack coach Nigel Carolan, forwards coach Jimmy Duffy, and defence coach Peter Wilkins have all signed new deals tethering them to the Sportsground until the summer of 2021

    Head coach Andy Friend says the signing of the new contracts means they can continue to focus on bringing winning rugby to Connacht.

  • Another member of Connacht’s victorious PRO12 squad is set to retire with hooker Tom McCartney about to bring the curtain down on six years at the Sportsground.

    The Irish Examiner reports that his retirement, due in a couple of months, will mean that by the start of next season over half of the squad which captured Connacht’s only ever trophy when they defeated Leinster four years ago will have departed the Sportsground.

    The 34-year-old, who has returned to New Zealand with his wife and children following the suspension of the season, made 112 appearances for Connacht after being brought to Galway by his former Auckland Blues coach Pat Lam.

    He may return if the season resumes after the Covid-19 pandemic but his appearance against Toulouse in the Heineken Champions Cup in January could turn out to be his last game for Connacht.

     

     

  • Connacht 7 - 21 Toulouse

  • Two former Ballina Rugby players have been included Ireland Six Nations Squad.

    Connacht’s Dave Heffernan and Caelan Dorris who plays for Leinster have both been included in Andy Farrell’s first 35-man Six Nations Squad.

    Jonathan Sexton is the new Ireland captain.

    The 34-year old Leinster out-half replaces Rory Best who retired after the World Cup.

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    The Connacht Women's Rugby Squad for the 2018 Interprovincial Series has been confirmed by the management team.

    A squad of 33 has been announced ahead of the series which begins on Saturday 1st September when the squad travel to Irish Independent Park in Cork to face Munster (k/o 2.30pm).

    Connacht Women then play two home games - firstly against Leinster on Sunday 9th September (k/o 3pm) followed by the visit of Ulster on Saturday 15th September (k/o 2.30pm). Both games will be played at The Sportsground.

    Team Manager Mark Moran has been talking about the squad's build-up to the upcoming fixtures:

    "Preparations for this year’s inter pro series have been going well. Like all years, we have lost some players from last season and also welcomed some exciting new ones. The players and coaches are working together extremely hard and it's encouraging to see the standards improving every week. As a team, we are all looking forward to the series kicking off in September where we will be hoping for more great support."

    CONNACHT WOMEN 2018/19

    Aifric O'Brien - Suttonians
    Anne-Marie O'Hora - Castlebar / Galwegians
    Amelie Roux - Galwegians
    Catherine Martin - Suttonians
    Ciara O'Connor - Galwegians
    Clodagh Dunne - Old Belvedere
    Denise Redmond - Galwegians
    Edel McMahon - Galwegians
    Elizabeth McNicholas - Tuam
    Ellen Taite - Mullingar
    Grainne Egan - Railway Union
    Hilary Griffin - Tullow
    Jane O'Neill - Old Belvedere
    Jill Draper - Tullamore
    Julia Bauer - Suttonians
    Laura Feely - Galwegians
    Lauren Retig - Suttonians
    Mairead Coyne - Galwegians
    Mary Healy - Galwegians
    Moya Griffin - Tullamore
    Nicola Caldbeck - Tullow
    Nicole Fowley - Galwegians
    Nichola Fryday - Galwegians
    Orla Dixon - NUIG
    Rachel Healy - Railway Union
    Rachel O'Brien - UL Bohemians
    Sarah-Jane Fox - Galwegians
    Shannen Lane - Galwegians
    Shannon Tuohey - Galwegians
    Tara Buggie - NUIG
    Tracey Gannon - Galwegians
    Ursula Sammon - Castlebar / Galwegians

    MANAGEMENT TEAM
    Jarleth Naughton - Head Coach
    Brian Murphy - Assistant Coach
    Jason East - Assistant Coach
    Barney Moran - Team Manager
    Dan McCabe - Physio

    FIXTURES
    Saturday 1st September
    Munster Women v Connacht Women (k/o 2.30pm @ Irish Independent Park)

    Sunday 9th September
    Connacht Women v Leinster Women (k/o 3pm @ The Sportsground)

    Saturday 15th September
    Connacht Women v Ulster Women (k/o 2.30pm @ The Sportsground)

  • Two more players have committed their futures to Connacht.

    Experienced hooker Dave Heffernan has signed a new deal at the Sportsground, and will add to his 110 provincial caps.

    While winger Niyi Adeolokun has also signed a new deal, with head coach Andy Friend praising his skill and versatility.

     

  • Ultan Dillane and Matt Healy have been passed fit to start for Connacht's match against Montpellier at the Sportsground on Sunday.

    Bundee Aki starts in midfield after coming off the bench in last weekend's loss to Leinster.

    Kick-off is at 1pm on Sunday.

  • Ultan Dillane has been dropped from the Irish rugby squad ahead of their World Cup warm up game against Italy in the Aviva on Saturday.

    The Connacht Rugby player was cut alongside Munster’s Rory Scannel ahead of this first warm-up tie.

    It is expected that Joe Schmidt will further reduce his squad to 38 players before the World Cup gets underway.

    Connacht now have four players represented in Schmidt’s team for the tournament:

    Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht)

    Jack Carty (Buccaneers/Connacht)

    Kieran Marmion (Galwegians/Connacht)

    Finlay Bealham (Buccaneers/Connacht)

  • Ultan Dillane is the latest senior player to commit their future to Connacht.

    The Ireland international second row has signed a contract extension keeping him at the Sportsground until the summer of 2021.

    The news comes 24-hours after Jack Carty signed a similar deal.

    Connacht play host to Sale in Pool 3 of the Challenge Cup on Saturday.

     

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    Ultan Dillane has been released from international duty to travel with the Connacht squad to South Africa.

     

    The lock is among a squad of 25 that heads to Bloemfontein for their Pro 14 meeting with the Cheetahs.

     

    Eoin McKeon and Peter Robb are nearing their respective returns from injury, but remain in Galway to continue their rehab.

  • Ireland lock Ultan Dillane will start for Connacht in their Guinness PRO14 match at the Cheetahs tomorrow evening.

    The only other change from last week's win over Benetton sees Toulouse-bound Pita Ahki comes into midfield to partner Eoin Griffin in the centre.

  • Uncapped Connacht scrum half Caolin Blade could be included in Ireland squad for the upcoming Six Nations Championship.

    Head coach Joe Schmidt is due to announce his 38 man panel today.

    With Luke McGrath and Kieran Marmion injured, Blade is seen a likely inclusion as back up to Conor Murray.

    The 24 year old has played in all of Connacht's 18 games so far this season.

     

  • Connacht Rugby are pleased to announce that the Connacht U18 Boys & Girls teams will be the guests of honour at this Saturday's Guinness PRO14 tie between Connacht and Scarlets at The Sportsground (k/o 5.15pm).

    The Connacht U18 Girls team made history last weekend when they sealed the interprovincial title, beating Leinster 21-19 to complete a clean sweep of victories in the competition. It's the first time in the province's history an U18 Girls team has won an interprovincial series.

    The victory came on the back of a similar feat by the Connacht U18 Boys, who also won the interprovincial title at the U18s Festival at University of Limerick in late August.

    Their achievements are especially significant as it is the first time ever that Connacht have won both male and female interprovincial titles in the same season.

    As a result both sets of squads and management will be attending the game and will parade their trophies at half-time, following which the head coaches and captains will be interviewed on the field.

  • The Connacht J1A League returned today.

    Westport got off to a winning start with a 14 7 win over Tuam.

    Last season’s double Champions Connemara overcame Castlebar 13-11.