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Dillane part of Connacht's travelling squad as Keane's men get to work in South Africa

The western province face the Cheetahs on Saturday.

Connacht trained in South Africa this morning.
Connacht trained in South Africa this morning.
Image: Connacht Rugby

ULTAN DILLANE HAS been released from Ireland training camp to travel to South Africa with Connacht ahead of their Guinness Pro14 clash with the Cheetahs this weekend.

The second row missed the Six Nations victory over Italy due to a family bereavement and although he came off the bench during Connacht’s defeat of Treviso at the weekend, was expected to link back up with Joe Schmidt’s squad this week.

However, Dillane was part of the province’s 25-man touring party which landed in Bloemfontein yesterday and will be available for selection for the round 17 clash at the Toyota Stadium on Saturday [KO 5.35pm, Sky Sports].

Bundee Aki, Kieran Marmion and Quinn Roux were all part of the Ireland squad which took part in an open training session at the Aviva Stadium this morning.

Connacht began preparations for the Cheetahs at their Bloemfontein base earlier and the province’s medical team reported no fresh injury concerns following the 22-19 win in Italy.

Denis Buckley (ankle), Jarrad Butler (hand), Tiernan O’Halloran (hamstring) and Niyi Adeolokun (hamstring) all came through their respective returns unscathed and are again available this weekend.

6 John Muldoon before training in Bloemfontein. Source: Connacht Rugby

A number of players are continuing their rehab programmes back in Galway, including Eoin McKeon (calf) and Peter Robb (hamstring) while Conor Carey and Andrew Browne (both shoulder) will be out until the end of March.

JP Cooney has had surgery on a hamstring issue and will be sidelined until April while Jake Heenan is continuing his rehab work from shoulder surgery and is following a similar return to play timeline.

Kieran Keane’s side are currently in fifth place in Conference A, sitting five points outside the play-off berths as it stands.

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