Connacht Rugby return to European action on Saturday when French side Bayonne visit the Sportsground for round 3 of the Challenge Cup (kick off 5pm).

Connacht’s two French opponents in pool 2 – Bayonne and La Rochelle – met in the TOP 14 last Saturday but shared the spoils  with a 19 – 19 draw at Stade Deflandre.  That round saw Bayonne move up to 10th in the coveted French competition, having won 4 – including an impressive 35 – 19 victory over powerhouse Toulouse –  drew 1 and lost 7 games so far.

In Europe this season, Bayonne recorded an unexpected 30 – 24 win over Exeter Chiefs but a week later were defeated on the road to La Rochelle which left the pool wide open. All four teams in the pool are still alive with one win and one loss each.

Connacht have met Bayonne in the Challenge Cup competition already – beating the French side twice during the 2010/11 season.

Current squad members John Muldoon, Andrew Browne, Ronan Loughney, Rodney Ah You, Michael Swift, Miah Nikora, and Fionn Carr all featured against the French side that season, with Carr scoring a try at Stade Jean Dauger.

Joe Rokocoko, former All Black back and team mate of Mils Muliaina, currently plays with the French club and no doubt the pair will be looking forward to catching up over the next fortnight.

Challenge Cup Match Facts:

  • Connacht Rugby have won both meetings between the two clubs in the Challenge Cup
  • Connacht have won eight of their last nine games against French opposition in the competition while Bayonne have lost three of their last four games against all opposition in this tournament.
  • Bayonne’s Pierre Sayerse has made five clean breaks in the opening two rounds – no player has made more in the Challenge Cup this season.
  • Connacht have the best record in the Challenge Cup this season in terms of penalties conceded, giving away an average of seven per game.

Connacht v Bayonne
Saturday December 6th
The Sportsground
Kick off 17:00
Referee: Matthew Carley (Eng)
Assistant Referees: Ian Tempest & Ross Campbell (both Eng)

Come along to the final home game of 2014 where we’ll be celebrating Christmas with a Winter Wonderland theme at the Sportsground.

Bring the kids early as there’ll be a party atmosphere and fun for all the family before, during and after the game. Meet Santa Claus and listen to the carols from  the County Cavan RFC’s Men’s Choir

Get Christmas photos with Connacht players and our academy elves, and win spot prizes and merchandise give-aways.

Get your match tickets now!




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