Ahead of the crucial return leg in the back-to-back fixtures, Connacht Head Coach Pat Lam spoke about the importance of the Round 4 Challenge Cup clash.

Connacht coach Pat Lam said: “We are going there to win. We truly believe we have a game plan and a team who can go there and win this game. The key is making sure we do our preparation as a team and as individuals.

“We’ve also got to be careful and use our squad ahead of what is a crucial period of games. We have a squad of around 40 players, including some Academy guys, and they’ve all been training around our structures and systems week in week out since the preseason. So we trust our squad and will trust the team we pick to go out there and play as a team in the Connacht jersey.

“No doubt Bayonne will make changes too. We know it will be a different story over there. That’s the next task and we won’t be getting carried away. We will have to be ruthless or teams like Bayonne are capable of punishing you.”

Bayonne could recall former New Zealand international Joe Rokocoko who didn’t travel to Ireland last weekend.

Wallaby Mark Chisholm did go to Galway but remained on the bench and he could make the starting line-up this week.

The Connacht team to face Bayonne at Stade Jean Dauger will be named on Friday at noon.

Challenge Cup Match Facts:

  • Bayonne have won just one of their last five games in the Challenge Cup, failing to pick up a losing bonus point in any of those games.
  • Bayonne have lost all three games to Connacht, who can boast nine wins in their last 10 against French clubs in the Challenge Cup
  • Connacht have now won four of their last five games in the Challenge Cup after losing four out of five before that.
  • After his towo tries last week against Bayonne, Danie Poolman is the joint top try scorere in the competition on three.

 

Bayonne v Connacht
Saturday December 13th
Stade Jean Dauger
Kick off 20:45 (local time)
Referee: Ian Davies (Wales)

 

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