Connacht Rugby United Rugby Championship & Champions Cup – Season Preview, Squad & Fixtures

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Below is everything you need to know about Connacht rugby before the start of the new 2021/22 season

Connacht are a squad in the middle of a rebuilding process. After a mixed season last year, the team has lost some of their more experienced players to retirement and foreign clubs.

Andy Friend’s team finished second behind Munster in the Pro 14 Conference B table last year but they only managed to win half of their 16 group matches.

Their last competitive match was a strong 26-19 victory at home over Ospreys in the Rainbow Cup.

Connacht have been known to cause major upsets in recent years but Jarrad Butler captaining the team will this season be one of them.

Latest transfer news

Players In

Leva Fifita – Lock, 31y/o, France

Shayne Bolton – Centre, 21y/o, South Africa

Mack Hansen – Fullback, 23y/o, Australia

Greg McGrath – Prop, 24y/o, Ireland

Sam Illo – Prop, 20y/o, Ireland

Players Out

Conor Kenny – Prop, 24y/o, Ireland – to Newcastle

Paddy McAllister – Hooker, 31y/0, Ireland – Retirement

Quinn Roux – Lock, 30y/o, South Africa – to Toulon

Sean O’Brien – Back row, 26y/o, Ireland – Retirement

Cillian Gallagher – Back row, 23y/o, Ireland – Retirement

Stephen Kerins – Scrum half, 25y/o, Ireland – Loaned to Bristol

Conor Dean – Fly half, 23y/o, Ireland

Sean O’Brien – Centre, 23y/o, Ireland – to Exeter

Stephen Fitzgerald – Fullback, 25y/o, Ireland – Retirement

Colm De Buitlear – Centre, 23y/o, Ireland

CLICK FOR FULL CONNACHT SQUAD

Betting

Connacht are the lowest rated side in the Champions Cup with odds of 250/1 of winning it this year.

Predicted finishing position

Connacht’s second place finish in the Pro 14 last year is a sign of good things for the province.

It is very unlikely that we will see them in the knockout stages of the Champions Cup this year but expect a top three finish in their Pro 14 Conference group.

Fixtures

R1 – Friday, September 24

Cardiff v Connacht | 19:35 UK / 20:35 ITA & SA | BBC Wales, TG4, Premier Sports

R2 – Friday, October 1

Connacht v Vodacom Bulls | 19:35 UK / 20:35 ITA & SA | TG4, Super Sport, Premier Sports

Saturday, October 9

Connacht v Dragons | 17:15 UK / 18:15 ITA & SA | TG4, S4C, Premier Sports

Saturday, October 16

Munster v Connacht | 19:35 UK / 20:35 ITA & SA | RTÉ, Premier Sports

Saturday, October 23

Connacht v Ulster | 17:15 UK / 18:15 ITA & SA | TG4, Premier Sports

R6 – Friday, November 26

Connacht v Ospreys | 19:35 UK / 20:35 ITA/ 21:35 SA | RTE, BBC Wales, Premier Sports

R7 – Friday, December 3

Leinster v Connacht | 19:45 UK / 20:45 ITA / 21:45 SA | TG4, Premier Sports

Sunday, December 26

Ulster v Connacht | 17:15 UK / 18:15 ITA / 19:15 SA | BBC NI, TG4, Premier Sports

R9 – Saturday, January 1

Connacht v Munster | 17:15 UK / 18:15 ITA / 19:15 SA | TG4, Premier Sports

R10 Saturday, January 8

Connacht v DHL Stormers | 17:00 UK / 18:00 ITA /19:00 SA | RTE, Super Sport, Premier Sports

R11 – Weekend of Jan 28/29/30

Connacht v Glasgow Warriors

R12 – Weekend of Feb 18/19/20

Scarlets v Connacht

R13 – Weekend of Mar 4/5/6

Edinburgh v Connacht

R14 – Weekend of March 25/26/27

Connacht v Leinster

R15 – Weekend of April 1/2/3

Benetton v Connacht

R16 – Weekend of April 22/23/24

Emirates Lions v Connacht

R17 – Weekend of April 29/30 and May 1

Cell C Sharks v Connacht

R18 – Weekend of May 20/21/22

Connacht v Zebre

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