Sunday 29 January 2023 Dublin: 5°C

# Connacht

28th January 2023
# Shot InThe Arm
Connacht boost URC knockout hopes with impressive bonus-point win
Jack Carty became Connacht’s all-time top points scorer in their victory over the Lions.
# Competition
The URC is becoming a less forgiving place as Irish provinces feel more heat
Leinster have continued as before but the other three provinces are battling.
Last week
22nd January 2023 - 28th January 2023
# Going nowhere
Friend scoffs at reports that Bundee Aki could be on his way to Munster
The Ireland star had been contracted to the end of the World Cup but signed an extension some time ago.
# Worry
Connacht's Prendergast emerges as injury concern for Six Nations
The 22-year-old made his Irish debut off the bench against Fiji in November.
# Setback
'We picked the team which we thought was good enough to win' - Andy Friend defends selection
Connacht must now travel to Benetton for last 16 Challenge Cup match.
This month
January 2023
# Preview
Munster chasing back-to-back Interpro crowns as Leinster take on Ulster
The Women’s Interprovincial title race could be decided this weekend.
# Homegrown
'He's becoming one of our key forward leaders' - Niall Murray extends Connacht deal
The Roscommon man has signed a new two-year deal with his native province.
# Bundee Jump
Friend backs Aki to shine in Six Nations despite limited game-time for Connacht
‘I reckon Bundee himself would understand his fitness needed to get better and that’s what we are focusing on. But he’s fine.’
# boosts
Porch extends deal with Connacht, while Connors among five back fit for Leinster
The Australian will remain with the western province until the end of the 2024/2025 campaign.
# The Deck
Hansen could provide Ireland with full-back option for Six Nations
Connacht head coach says Hansen told him that full-back was his preferred option.
# to the next challenge
Clinical Connacht put 61 points on Brive to progress to Challenge Cup knockouts
Brive’s second-string were ruthlessly dispatched as Connacht made it three wins from three.
# Challenge Accepted
Hansen moved to full back as Connacht eye Challenge Cup knockout place
Connacht make seven personnel changes to the side which beat the Sharks last weekend.
# Explainer
Plenty on the line as Irish provinces turn attention back to European Cup
All four provinces are in action on Saturday across a busy weekend in the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup.
# Waiting Game
Connacht head coach Wilkins yet to be interviewed to take over from Friend
The current director of rugby is set to depart in the summer of 2023.
# Roots
Hansen gets fresh trim and settles into new Galway house as Six Nations looms
The Canberra native he is taking nothing for granted about making this year’s Irish squad.
# Preview
Ulster, Connacht and Leinster can all make the most of an intriguing day of URC action
The three provinces will all be aiming for wins today.
# Crunch time
Farrell insists Connacht aren't feeling the pressure ahead of crucial few weeks
The Dublin native will turn 30 next Tuesday and by then he will know whether their URC hopes have been re-ignited.
# Silver lining
'It’s an opportunity for someone to step up' - Leinster assistant on Sexton setback
Robin McBryde is optimistic the province can remain a potent force in the star’s absence.
# in the family
'They'll play a lot of games for this club' - Connacht's high hopes for Murray brothers
Niall and Darragh Murray have caught the eye when paired together in the Connacht second row.
# talismen
Big boost for Connacht with Irish internationals returning for Sharks clash
Bundee Aki, Mack Hansen, and Finlay Bealham are all available again.
Andy Friend calls for Connacht to 'front up and start winning games'
The province sit 13th in the URC table and face an uphill battle to reach the play-offs.
# dancing feet
Larmour lights up RDS but Leinster lose Sexton to injury in 7-try win over Connacht
The Leinster captain picked up a facial injury as the province made it 11 straight wins in the URC this season.
Last month
December 2022
# Team news
Gibson-Park and Sexton to make first Leinster start of the season together, Connacht missing key trio
Mack Hansen, Finlay Bealham and Bundee Aki all miss Sunday’s trip to the RDS.
# Up In The Air
Porch could follow Friend out of Connacht at the end of the season
The 28-year-old says he hasn’t yet looked into the possibility of representing Ireland via residency rules.
# Update
Leinster to make decision on Furlong and Connors ahead of Connacht clash
The pair will need ‘further assessment this week before a final decision will be made on their participation.’
# Out of Action
Connacht's Thornbury set to miss rest of season after crushing injury blow
It’s the latest major injury setback for the former Irish U20 international.
# Injury Report
Thornbury and Boyle serious injury concerns as Connacht win comes at a price
Thornbury suffered a suspected dislocated kneecap, while Boyle injured his shoulder in win against Brive.
# Brivehearts
Connacht make it two wins from two in the Challenge Cup
Connacht defeated Brive by seven points this evening in the second game of their Challenge Cup pool.
# Fortune favours the Brive
Bundee Aki returns to Connacht side for Brive clash
There are eight changes to the Connacht side that beat Newcastle Falcons last Saturday.
Connacht waiting on Hansen ahead of crucial Christmas period
Hansen is recovering from a leg injury and hopes to be fit for Ulster clash on December 23.
# Optimism
Friend thrilled Connacht's squad depth strengthened by Challenge Cup games
“We’ve got to be brave enough to use it. There would have been a lot of people scratching their heads wondering what are we doing.”
# Depth
Connacht rest several key players but still earn deserved Challenge Cup win
The Irish side were too good for Newcastle Falcons.
# mission
Andy Friend gets priorities straight as he bids to bow out with a bang at Connacht
His four summer signings from Leinster start together for the first time against Newcastle Falcons in the Challenge Cup later today.
# Boost
Byrne earns first start for Connacht's clash with Newcastle Falcons
Among the replacements, Ballinasloe flanker Oisín McCormack could make his debut.
# The Lowdown
Champions Cup: Why Leinster aren't Racing certainties as Munster have nothing to lose
The42′s rugby writers separate the contenders from the pretenders as European rugby’s showpiece event returns for another year.
# Target
Peter Dooley hoping to step out of the shadows with Connacht silverware
Loosehead prop has headed west after a decade with his native Leinster.
# Challenge Cup
Connacht to rest Irish internationals during European pool games
The province kick-off their Challenge Cup campaign against Newcastle Falcons on Saturday.
# Victory
Connacht get just the boost needed with bonus-point win over Benetton
Gusty Italians push The Westerners all the way.
# opportunity knocks
As they approach the half-way mark, Connacht's season is finally set to begin
Fixture list has been cruel for Andy Friend’s side but with the tougher games out of the way, they can view the rest of the campaign with hope.
Last year
# Mack's Back
Mack Hansen shrugs off injury to boost Connacht ahead of Benetton battle
Ireland winger passed fit ahead of Saturday’s URC match at the Sportsground.