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Saturday 28 January 2023 Dublin: 4°C
James Crombie/INPHO Hansen trained with Connacht on Tuesday.
# 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.

IRISH WINGER MACK Hansen looks set to return to action for Connacht as they go in search of a badly-needed win against Benetton at the Sportsground on Saturday.

The 24-year-old missed the loss away to Munster at the weekend with a thigh injury he sustained against his native Australia the previous week.

But he has returned to full training and is poised for his 20th Connacht appearance next Saturday when Andy Friend’s men will be hoping to secure their fourth win of the campaign and start climbing out of the lower reaches of the URC.

There is also some good news on another Irish-qualified Aussie with Byron Ralston, who scored his second Connacht try against Munster at the weekend before going off with a shoulder injury.

The injury is not as serious as initially feared and while he is unlikely to feature against Benetton this weekend, it’s expected he will be back for the European Challenge Cup games against Newcastle Falcons and Brive.

Meanwhile, Connacht senior coach Pete Wilkins said he would welcome any moves to speed up the game, with World Rugby considering a countdown timer on scrums, lineouts and kicks.

“I think there is real positivity in that. Anything that speeds the game up for spectators but also brings tempo into the plays is going to bring excitement for the players and more opportunity for the players.

“I’d fully support anything that speeds the game up. I think the key thing with any of these changes is to make sure there are the resources and the consistency in how they are actually delivered, whether that is having shot-clocks on the pitch or the required match officials to monitor that, it has got to be consistent and available and if that happens then all the better for the game,” said Wilkins.

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