The Connacht Rugby squad which departed Ireland yesterday for a five day training camp in the South of France featured four Roscommon connections.
Picture Credit: ©INPHO/James Crombie
Pat Lam’s men will also take part in the Challenge Vaquerin in Saint-Affrique with a game against Top 14 side Montpellier tomorrow (Thursday August 11th) at 8pm local time.
Cormac Brennan, Cian Kelleher, Tiernan O’Halloran, Niyi Adeolokun, Matt Healy, Ed O’Keeffe, Danie Poolman, Josh Rowland, Bundee Aki, Eoin Griffin, Rory Parata, Peter Robb, Jack Carty, Shane O’Leary, Caolin Blade, Kieran Marmion, Conor McKeon, Conor Lowndes.
Dave Heffernan, Shane Delahunt, Tom McCartney, Finlay Bealham, Denis Buckley, Conor Carey, JP Cooney, Ronan Loughney, Saba Meunargia, Dominic Robertson-McCoy, Ivan Soroka*, JP Cooney, Sean O’Brien, Ultan Dillane, Danny Qualter, Cian Romaine, Lewis Stevenson, Nepia Fox-Matamua, Jake Heenan, Eoin McKeon, John Muldoon.
There are six Academy players included in the traveling squad as well as new recruits Eoin Griffin, Cian Kelleher, Conor Carey, Dominic Robertson-McCoy, Josh Rowland and Lewis Stevenson.
*Ukrainian-born prop Ivan Soroka from Clontarf RFC has been training with the Connacht squad on a trial basis since the beginning of the pre-season period.
Speaking about the week ahead and the game against Montpellier, Head Coach Pat Lam said:
“This is the fourth year in a row that we will travel to France and it has become a very important phase in our pre-season preparations. After six weeks of training together in Galway, most of the squad will now be together in France for five days with no interruptions.
“With new players arriving and those training with us from the Academy, this week is hugely beneficial in terms of strengthening relationships on and off the field.
“Against Montpellier, who will be a good bit ahead of us in terms of their pre-season preparations, we have a chance to test out some new systems as well as take stock of where we are ourselves. It’s a good time to blood our new players and try out different combinations ahead of round 1 of the Guinness PRO12 against Glasgow in just over three weeks’ time.
“The international players travelling with us won’t play on Thursday night but the week is crucial for them to continue their reintegration to pre-season and prepare as best they can with the squad.
“I’m pleased with the preparation and hard work put in to date and looking forward to a good week from everyone in France.”
Connacht Rugby kick off the official season with a home game against Glasgow Warriors on Saturday September 3rd at 5:15pm).