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  • Accidentally Onside
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1 month 4 days ago #66343

It is maybe a bit negative, but it's a really difficult run of games:
Osprey a
Leinster h
Europe
Europe
Southern King h
Europe
Europe
Munster h
Ulster a
Leinster a
Europe
Europe

The only game there where we'd be clear favourites is the Kings home game. Unless some players stepup we don't have the squad to deal with that run of games and playing roundly the same players 12 games on the trot is a recipe for injury. Last season we had the Challenge Cup to rotate the squad but not this year.
I don't expect us to lose all of those, but it's going to really test the squad and we might end up "targeting" a few games.

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1 month 4 days ago #66344

I'd agree with Accidentally Onside, last year I was delighted that we managed to make the play offs and Champions Cup for 19/20 but a big part of the reason we achieved this was that we (correctly imo) rotated heavily in the Challenge Cup up to and including the quarter final. Also we have only 10 home games this year. On the plus side we are in a much more settled state than last summer. The squad looks stable if a bit light on numbers in some areas.

To start Scarlets away isn't a gentle opener, even with their struggles last season they were still strong at home and I'd expect them to be much improved this year. Treviso and Dragons after that. Then we have 3 games in and around the close of the World Cup. We need a decent return before the Champions Cup starts to give us a springboard. I think we need to pick up a result or two on the road early to give us confidence for going on our travels later in the season.

December and January is tough on paper but who knows there'll be a lot of sore bodies and mental fatigue coming off the world cup and straight into European intensity. I reckon there'll be plenty of rotation for the interpros.

6 nations rolls around and the schedule there doesn't look bad. Lots of games against conference rivals which is what you want. Run in looks tough on paper but it's a long way down the tracks.

We're going to be stretched at certain stages of the season that is obvious even at this juncture. We need to hope that our injury list doesn't become too large at any point. Last season was the first in a long time where we didn't seem to have about 20 players out at once at one stage or other.

Our strength this season has to be the togetherness of our squad. A number of squads will be very disjointed this year with players coming and going constantly. With World Cup, Heineken Cup and 6 nations there's some internationals who might play only 1 or 2 Pro 14 games until mid-April. We will lose 3 or 4 players maybe with 1 or 2 others coming or going from week to week. The core will be settled you'd hope.

It's just nice to have some games laid out in front of us. Feels like forever since Connacht played last.

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1 month 4 days ago #66345

Interestingly, Connacht have no 3:00 Saturday games this year compared with 3/4 last year (off memory) even though the overall number of 3:00 fixtures has increased significantly.

Those games will be shown by Eir/Premier Sports who have gone back to that time slot, it seems, having initially not favorited

And don’t take out an eir sports subscription if it’s to watch Connacht in the pro 14. Tg4 have every Connacht League game this side of Christmas.

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  • MulMan
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1 month 4 days ago #66346

I'm disappointed with all the late fixtures this season. I know it's a better atmosphere, but it's trickier for those outside of Galway as mentioned previously to attend the games, and the champions cup games that would have the best atmosphere around Galway if they're late kick-offs might still be early fixtures.

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1 month 4 days ago #66347

MulMan wrote: I'm disappointed with all the late fixtures this season. I know it's a better atmosphere, but it's trickier for those outside of Galway as mentioned previously to attend the games, and the champions cup games that would have the best atmosphere around Galway if they're late kick-offs might still be early fixtures.


There's no perfect time unfortunately.
I appreciate the late starts dont suit everyone, but there is an even split across the three main options
Friday nights (3)
Saturday evenings (3)
Saturday nights (4)

Connacht have very little, if not 0 control over the timing of the HC matches. They are almost completely driven by the tv companies.
Expect plenty of Saturday lunch time kick-offs i'd imagine :(

Personally, I'm extremely happy with the times of the games. A good atmosphere adds so much to the game.


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1 month 4 hours ago #66350

I'm going to take this with a mountain of salt, but:

rugbylad.ie/british-irish-league-set-replace-pro14-premiership/

A combined premiership/pro14 (well, home nations) league? I'd say the IRFU would just LOVE to hitch themselves to Premiership Rugby. Every team, always in the black. And they get on so, so, so well with their governing body, the RFU. Always in lockstep, those Premiership and RFU lads!

And CVC! So interested in growing the game, those folks.

Would worry that talk of funds would turn the heads of the Welsh, mind you. Hopefully not - wouldn't see it going brilliantly for them in the medium/long term.


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Email: shanes@connachtclan.com

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1 month 4 hours ago #66351

There're so many issues there I'm just going to skip to the obvious conclusion: since the Welsh don't know who the mark is, it's them.

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  • MulMan
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1 month 1 hour ago #66352

I was reading about this on the WalesOnline website this morning. The Welsh fans seem to be a huge a fan of the idea, I think they are forgetting how little they are bringing to the table and they think that the English are very keen to get them on board. I'd have thought this would be a non-runner from the IRFU's point of view, but if both the Welsh and Scottish were keen it could complicate things, ultimately I think this plan would ruin club rugby in Europe.

I know a lot of people aren't fully behind the pro14 but this wouldn't be like having an expanded Champions Cup, without the French & Italians, it would just be changing the opponents in the league, and probably being dictated by the English clubs.

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