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Dublin: 8 °C Monday 20 May, 2019
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Connacht ready to perform whatever the weather in Perpignan

From South Africa to Galway and now on to Perpignan, the breadth of Connacht’s skill-set is being tested.

Quinn Roux and James Connolly go at Perpignan.
Quinn Roux and James Connolly go at Perpignan.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

IRELAND LOCK QUINN Roux believes Connacht are becoming a team for all seasons as they build up a head of steam under impressive new coach Andy Friend.

Four wins in a row in climate that varied from the heat and thin air of the Highveld in Roux’s native South Africa to the wind and rain of the Sportsground has confidence levels returning to levels not seen since Pat Lam led them to glory two years ago.

Connacht will now head to the south of France but with heavy rain forecast in the Languedoc throughout today and into tomorrow morning, conditions could be testing at Stade Aime Giral tomorrow night.

Perpignan are under huge pressure to secure a first win of the season in 14 outings but Roux reckons nothing will ever be as bad as last Saturday when they secured a 22-10 win over the Catalans.

“The weather was awful, probably one of the worst games I have ever played in. But the weather is always going to be tough to do what you really want to do. It’s all about adapting.

“It was great to get a win especially after the two wins the lads got over in South Africa in different weather.

“Even after all of the changes we have made it’s good to see that we are building nicely in our depth to get the win and the four points.”

Roux took his Irish caps to eight when he was drafted in for the autumn games against Italy and the USA.

And the 28-year old crowned the win over the USA with his first try for Ireland, over two years since making his Irish debut against his native South Africa.

He is now in his fifth season at the Sportsground, having joined after three years with Leinster, and has become one of the leaders in Friend’s squad.

The festive inter-pros are on the horizon but Roux said all their focus is on getting the win in Perpignan which will keep their Challenge Cup hopes alive but he knows that the Top 14 strugglers will be gunning for them.

“They will be very hungry to get a win. They haven’t had a win this whole year and they will be keen to give their own fans a win. They might put up a better challenge, they are a quality team. It was a bit of a slug-fest the first day but this week will be a bit more running rugby. They will be coming out firing,” added Roux.

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John Fallon

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