The Connacht senior squad returned to the Sportsground today for the first session of pre-season training under the new coaching team.

Assistant Coaches Jimmy Duffy and Nigel Carolan, new Defence Coach Peter Wilkins, and new Senior Strength & Conditioning Coach Johnny O’Connor were among the coaching group overlooking various training drills during a busy day in Galway on the pitch and in the gym.

The Connacht squad has been bolstered in the off season by the arrivals of scrum-half James Mitchell, prop Peter McCabe and second row Gavin Thornbury along with Academy graduates Conor McKeon (scrum-half), Cormac Brennan (utility back) and Pat O’Toole (hooker).

The five Connacht players that featured for Ireland during the successful summer tour of the USA and Japan – Kieran Marmion, Tiernan O’Halloran, Quinn Roux, Finlay Bealham and Dave Heffernan – will return to training towards the end of the month.

While it was the first training session of the season, the team had reconvened last week to meet incoming Head Coach Kieran Keane with the Chiefs Assistant Coach spending last week in Ireland.

Keane will join the province following the completion of the Super Rugby season in the coming weeks and we will have an exclusive interview with the new coach later this week ahead of an exciting new era at the province.

The players will be making appearances across the province over the next two months at the Connacht Rugby Summer Camps, sponsored by Galway Free Range Eggs.

Two fixtures are lined up in August and Season Ticket holders for the 2017/18 season have free access to the pre-season fixture against Bristol at the Sportsground on Saturday, August 26 (3pm).

That game will be new coach Keane’s first home game at the helm with Pat Lam leading the opposition and tickets will be available to purchase shortly with a high demand expected.

Prior to that clash, Connacht travel to the Ricoh Arena on Wednesday, August 23, to take on Premiership runners-up Wasps.

 

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