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Connacht are still not back on Irish soil after being stranded in Siberia

They’re due to play Brive in the Challenge Cup on Saturday.

Connacht's George Naoupu and Rory Parata in Krasnoyarsk on Friday.
Connacht's George Naoupu and Rory Parata in Krasnoyarsk on Friday.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

John Fallon reports from Krasnoyarsk

THE CONNACHT PLAYERS and management are expected to finally touch down in Dublin later this evening after a marathon trek back from Siberia.

The team were due back on a charter flight into Shannon at around midnight on Saturday after their 31-14 European Challenge Cup win over Enisei-STM in Krasnoyarsk.

But a problem developed with their French charter aircraft shortly before they were due to board and they had to retrieve their bags and go back to the city centre to a hastily arranged hotel.

At one stage it appeared that it would be Wednesday before they would leave, as the aircraft owners tried to get a replacement part for the aircraft flown in. However, the squad are now returning to Ireland on a variety of scheduled flights.

The group has been split into three — they will travel to Moscow on two separate flights, with the first group leaving their hotel at 4am local time (9pm last night Irish time) and the final group departing three hours later.

In Moscow, the first group will travel to London Heathrow and then on to Dublin. The second group will go via Amsterdam, with those two groups expected in Dublin at about 5.40pm today. The third group will leave Moscow for Paris and will arrive in Dublin at 9.40pm.

Connacht will play Brive in the second round of the Challenge Cup at the Sportsground next Saturday afternoon at 5pm.

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John Fallon

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