Connacht players reach out to the communityPhonathon FionnCarr

While there was no official match to look forward to this week, the Connacht squad were kept busy with continued training and a number of additional activities that allowed them to catch up with supporters across the province.

On Tuesday evening, 12 members of the playing squad were manning the phones at the Sportsground office.

Ronan Loughney, Dan Parks, Brett Wilkinson, Fionn Carr, Jason Harris-Wright, Denis Buckley, Paul O’Donohue (celebrating his 26th birthday), Robbie Henshaw, Kieran Marmion, Andrew Browne, Willie Faloon and Eoin McKeon spent the evening calling up Season Ticket holders thanking them for their incredible support to date.

The ‘Phonathon’ was a great opportunity for the players to chat to supporters about the upcoming season and generated a lot of excitement and anticipation around the opening fixture next week.

Mayo Mata_resizedThere was plenty of excitement in another part of the province this week, as the Connacht senior squad headed to Mayo to meet supporters in both Castlebar RFC and Westport RFC. Green and red flags were dotted along either side of the road as the county prepares for the upcoming All-Ireland Football Final on September 22nd.

The Connacht bus rolled into Castlebar RFC for a morning session with around 100 children from the club itself and neighbouring areas. The young group was split into three age groups and the players were put through their paces with over an hour of fun games.

The parents were delighted to get some photos from the day and all the children went away with a signed Connacht Rugby poster.

After a delicious lunch at Castlebar rugby club, the squad headed off for the beautiful town of Westport. Set against the scenic backdrop of Croagh Patrick, Westport RFC welcomed another huge crowd of supporters to meet the Connacht squad.

Mayo-born players Gavin Duffy, Brian Murphy and Dave Heffernan were joined by Mayo football supporter Ronan Loughney for a rendition of the ‘Green and Red of Mayo’ which was a real treat for the supporters at Westport. See the video below.

President of Westport RFC was at the event and said:

“It was an absolutely fabulous day. It’s fantastic that Connacht would take time out to come down here to Westport and it’s great that we came out in numbers to show our appreciation. I think the forward thinking of Pat Lam is fantastic. He knows that he’s got to embrace the five counties of Connacht to really bring Connacht Rugby forward.

“The whole community was delighted with today. The way the lads took the time out to play with the kids was amazing. They’re like big kids themselves and it’s clear that they enjoyed it as much as we all did.

“There are a lot of people that go up from the town here to support Connacht in the Rabo and the Heineken and I know there’s going to be a lot more. “

Connacht Rugby kick off the 2013/14 season against Italian side Zebre at home in the Sportsground on Saturday, August 7th. Tickets start at €20 for adults and are on sale now from the tickets.ie, the Connacht Rugby offices and Centre and SuperValu stores province-wide. 

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