Connacht Rugby

  • Saturday

    Senior Cup

    Galweigans v Ballina Crowley Park prelim a   2:30 

    All Ireland Junior Cup

    Castlebar v Ballyclare     Cloondeash       2:30

  • The Irish provinces remain coronavirus free after the latest round of testing.

    A second batch of tests were conducted at Connacht and Ulster last week, all of which returned negative.

    In total, there have been 407 tests conducted so far and not a single positive result.V

  • The IRFU are now in a position to add a ‘Competition Stage’ to their Return To Rugby Guidelines For Clubs.
     
    This is to allow clubs to plan and work towards the start of the 2020/21 season and the playing of rugby matches.
     
    September has been given as the month in which rugby matches will be permitted to return for clubs.
     
    Given the changing nature of the reopening of society and the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, a specific date will not be issued until further clarity is available and will remain subject to change.
     
    The given date will also factor in a minimum window of five weeks permitted for contact training ahead of a return to rugby matches.
     
    The Competition Stage is the final stage in the summary roadmap of the IRFU Return To Rugby Guidelines. All clubs are currently in the COVID-19 Safety Planning Stage, which they must complete before moving to the resumption of training at any level.
     
    The IRFU are working toward a modified season for 2020/21. The governing body recognises concerns over travel, safety and expense and this will be reflected in the season’s structure. Clubs should expect that games at the start of the season will be kept local where practicable.
     
    Further detail on the structure of the season will also be issued in due course.
     
    The IRFU Return To Rugby Guidelines For Clubs are available at https://www.irishrugby.ie/running-your-club/return-to-rugby-for-clubs

  • Connacht Rugby have announced that six players have signed professional contracts with the province having come through the club's academy. 

    Niall Murray, Colm Reilly, Seán Masterson, Conor Dean, Jordan Duggan and Peter Sullivan will all be integrated into the professional squad ahead of the new season.

    Murray, Masterson and Dean have already tasted action with the senior side after getting game time in the Heineken Champions Cup and Pro14 competitions.

  • Connacht lost to Munster at the Sportsground last night, but those in attendance made it into the history books after they broke the world record for the most people wearing a hi-vis jacket in one location at once.

    The record attempt was organised by a partnership between Connacht Rugby and Portwest as part of the 'Be Bright on Safety' campaign, which aims to call attention to the significance and responsibility of all road users when it comes to safety.

    The record attempt took place at half-time in yesterday evenings encounter, with Connacht trailing their southern rivals by seven points.

    Officials at the Sportsgound claim approximately 5,000 fans took part in the record attempt, smashing the previous record of 2,499.

  • TG4 will again broadcast 28 live games free to air this season, as well as deferred coverage of a further 9 interprovincial games.

    This will be followed by a bumper afternoon of live rugby on TG4 on Saturday 28th September as Scarlets take on Connacht.

    A weekly highlights programme will also be broadcast to bring Irish audiences the best action from the Guinness PRO14 Championship.

    TG4’s Rugbaí Beo coverage includes live coverage of all Connacht Rugby’s home games as well as live and exclusive coverage of all Connacht matches against Welsh opposition.

    The coverage will build on last year’s behind the scenes ref-briefings, warm-up interviews with head-coaches and audio-snoops on coaches and players.

    Máire Treasa Ní Dhubhghaill will present the show and there will be expert analysis from Eimear Considine, Deirbhile Nic a Bhaird, Marcus Horan, Ronan Loughney, Eoghan Ó Neachtain, Eamonn Molloy along with a host of others.

  • Government has allocated Connacht Rugby €10 million in funding under the Large-Scale Sports Infrastructure Fund.

    The funding will provide for a third of the Sportsground redevelopment fund which is projected in the region of €30m and will have a capacity of 12,000 spectators.

    It is intended that the development will be funded through a combination of public funds, most notably this Large Scale Sports Infrastructure Fund, and private funding.

    The redevelopment will deliver a modern rugby stadium to the Western province, in addition to a new high-performance training centre for Connacht Rugby, while also retaining existing greyhound racing facilities.

    The redevelopment was made possible following an arrangement reached between the Irish Greyhound Board and the freehold owners of the Sportsground, the Galway Agricultural and Sports Society, with respect to a shared vision for the future of the Sportsground.

    The arrangement with the Irish Greyhound Board will ensure that rugby fixtures and greyhound racing events will continue to be staged at the venue.

    The multi-use facility will also be made available for the hosting of other sporting fixtures and events where such demand arises.

    The strategic benefits of the project to the entire region are also closely aligned with the Government’s National Planning Framework, Project Ireland 2040 as well as the National Sports Policy, all of which highlight the need for a regional spread of capital investment throughout the country.

    Fine Gael TD for Galway West Hildegarde Naughton welcomed the announcement of funds saying that 'Connacht Rugby employs 130 people itself, making it a sizeable employer. But the economic spin-off is huge, and the team’s future success on the field will be shared by businesses and individuals throughout the area,'

    She continued to say that 'Today’s announcement that the redevelopment of the Sportsground can proceed is a key part of that future success, making this an extremely exciting time for us fans and other potential beneficiaries in the region.”

    The announcement of the Government funding follows a rigorous process to identify the optimum location, composition and design of the proposed stadium, along with a detailed independent cost-benefit analysis.

  • The Connacht U18 and U19 Squads have been named for their respective interprovincial Championships which begin this weekend.

    Three Ballina rugby players have been included in the respective squads.

    Fiachna Barrett who is a student at St. Brendan’s College in Belmullet is included in the U18 squad.

    Both Alan Duffy and Caolan Hopkins of Ballina Rugby club have been included in the Connacht U19 squad.

    For the second year running the U18’s will be based at the University of Limerick for over a week where the competition will be run off.

    Their opening game comes this Saturday against Ulster before they face Leinster on Wednesday August 21st.

    They complete their campaign with a meeting with Munster on Sunday August 25th at the same venue.

    The U19’s go to the interpros with the bulk of the squad winning the U18 Interprovinical Championship at UL twelve months earlier, and they begin their series away to Munster this Friday at Thomond Park.

    Their one and only home game comes on Wednesday August 21st when the team host Leinster at the Sportsground, and their final game against Ulster on Sunday August 25th will be played at the neutral venue of NUIM Barnhall.

  • Three Connacht players have been named in the Barbarians' squad to face England at Twickenham on Sunday.

    Niyi Adeolokun, Finlay Bealham and Dave Heffernan are among a 23-man panel selected by former Connacht head coach Pat Lam.

     

     

  • Three senior Connacht players have signed new deals with the province.

    Tiernan O'Halloran, Sean O'Brien and Tom Farrell have all agreed contract extensions until the summer of 2022.

    Connacht have also announced the installation of temporary terracing for Friday's Pro 14 meeting with Leinster at the Sportsground.

  • 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.

  •  

    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.

     

  •  

    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.