Connacht Rugby kick-off their season at 5:15pm on Saturday against Glasgow Warriors and Pat Lam discusses team news and the season ahead.
Pat Lam updated us on the injury list, with the majority coming in the second row, while there is virtually no cover in place of these players. Quinn Roux has a hip injury, while Andrew Browne has a thigh injury they are currently undergoing rehab and medical fitness testing due to injuries sustained in pre-season, both of these players are said to be unavailable for the next two to three weeks. Sean O’Brien is also out injured after injuring his ankle in pre-season and he is said to be out for at least a month. Eoin Masterson can also cover the second row but he is also out injured and not due back till December. In addition academy players Cian Romaine, Peter Claffey and Cillian Gallagher are all also on the injury table, Jake Heenan is also absent as he sustained a bad injury in a pre-season game against Montpellier, he is expected to return in early October.
In the backs, Craig Ronaldson injured his thigh and he is recovering well but is not expected to return until late September. Darragh Leader has had surgery on his hand and is not expected to return until February.
In an open interview with the media, Connacht player Eoin Griffin told us ‘It was a little bit unusual for most the lads coming back a bit later than usual’. Speaking about the pre-season games he said ‘It was great to get the workout in Sale , we gained a lot from it’’. Griffin who played with London Irish in the Guinness Premiership said the main difference between that and the PRO12 is that there is a lot more scrummaging from penalties and more attacking of the maul. Griffin also went on to say ‘There are world class players on every team.”
Speaking about upcoming games Griffin said every game is going to be tough ‘especially in the Champions Cup’ and that over the years Connacht Rugby have progressed from his first time at Connacht.
Connacht open their PRO12 season on Saturday with a home game against Glasgow Warriors, before playing a week later against the Ospreys in a game also set to be played at the Sportsground.
Following a shoulder injury sustained with Nottingham Rugby last season, new Connacht signing Conor Carey has returned to full training and is due to be available for selection next week
Academy prop Conan O’Donnell is nearing a return as he continues to rehab from the foot injury that kept him out of the World Rugby U20’s Championship during the summer.
Nathan White is continuing his recovery from a head injury arising from concussion sustained last season
Quinn Roux (hip) and Andrew Browne (thigh) are undergoing rehab with the medical and fitness team for their injuries sustained in pre-season. They remain unavailable for selection for 2-3 weeks.
Ben Marshall is continuing his recovery from a head injury arising from concussion sustained last season
Academy locks Cian Romaine, Peter Claffey and Cillian Gallagher are all unavailable to the senior coaching team due to respective injuries
Jake Heenan (hand) and Sean O’Brien (ankle) are both undergoing rehab with the medical and fitness team for their injuries sustained in pre-season. Both players are due to return in early October
Eoghan Masterson (knee) is continuing his recovery from last season’s knee surgery and is due to return in December 2016.
John Cooney (shoulder) is nearing a return to partial training with the squad as he returns from the injury he sustained in the Pro 12 Final.
Craig Ronaldson (thigh) is progressing well as he recovers from his pre-season injury and is due to return in late September/early October.
Marnitz Boshoff will arrive in Ireland in November following the completion of the Currie Cup competition.
Darragh Leader (hand) has undergone surgery on his hand injury and will return in February 2017.