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Dublin: 14 °C Monday 3 August, 2020

Roux likely to miss Connacht's season-defining Cardiff clash

The Ireland international is suffering from a virus ahead of Saturday’s game.

Connacht's Quinn Roux.
Connacht's Quinn Roux.
Image: Inpho/Billy Stickland

IRISH INTERNATIONAL QUINN Roux has emerged as a major concern for Connacht’s crucial PRO14 decider against Cardiff Blues this Saturday due to illness.

Roux (virus), Kyle Godwin (thigh) and Finlay Bealham (hand) will almost certainly miss Saturday’s Sportsground clash, although Andy Friend’s side have been boosted by the return of Bundee Aki after a rest week, while Tom Farrell is also available after an eye injury forced him off against Zebre last week.

A win for Connacht on Saturday will guarantee them a spot in next season’s Champions Cup and also qualify them for the league quarter-finals as the third placed team in Conference A, but the loss of Roux against the physical Welsh outfit is a setback.

“He has just been ill, he’s been crook for the last few weeks. We thought the break would get him over that but he has come back and he is just not right at this point in time. I’d say he is very unlikely for this weekend,” said Friend.

He is away (from the group) and he is getting himself checked out and we have to make sure everything is okay with him before we put him under the pressures of a game like this weekend.

“It’s a real shame, for him too, because as we know he has been in the international set up this year. There’s a lot of competition in that second row spot.

He wants to be playing rugby and we want him to be playing rugby but if you’re body is not letting you we have to listen to that.”

Quinn Roux arrives Connacht will be without Quinn Roux for this weekend's massive Pro14 clash with Cardiff. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Squad Depth

Connacht were afforded a close up look at Cardiff last weekend when Munster defeated them in Cork, but their centre partnership of Rey Lee-Lo and Willis Halaholo caused huge trouble for the Munster defence.

Friend is happy to have Aki back to bolster that zone.

“Bundee is back and available. It’s really good to have him. I thought their centre pairing was excellent against Munster,” said Friend.

We’ve had some great combinations in the centres this year. Bundee has done well, Peter Robb has done extremely well, Tom Farrell, Kyle Godwin, Eoin Griffin early on in the year, so we have got a lot of depth in that position.

“We’ll pick a centre pairing that we reckon will cause them some grief and hopefully make their attacks neutral.”

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The Connacht coach also confirmed that tighthead prop Finlay Bealham has gotten the all clear from the scans he had on his hand injury.

No further damage was detected other than the initial laceration, and now that he has battled an infection, it’s just a matter of healing time for the Ireland international.

With just two games to go the importance of a home win is not lost on Friend, with Cardiff currently four points behind his side. Defeat on Saturday will hand the initiative back to Cardiff, who play Ospreys in their final game of the season, while Connacht face a tough trip to Thomond Park to face Munster.

We’d love to finish the job on Saturday, but it’s sport. That’s what we want and I know Cardiff want a different outcome.

“For us, we’ll be doing everything in our power to make sure we get that win and secure that spot on Saturday night.

“If it doesn’t happen, righto, we’re going to have to front up in two weeks’ time and make sure we do it at Thomond Park. Our intention is to do it on Saturday.”

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Declan Rooney

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