Connacht captain John Muldoon will play his 274th game for his home province on Saturday evening. The Portumna man is currently in his 13th season of professional rugby at the Sportsground but this is the first time he has played in a PRO12 semi-final.

“It’s a very exciting time for everybody involved in Connacht rugby – fans, players, coaches and our families. It is unchartered territory for us, but for the last few weeks we have all come to realise we are in a knock-out situation and anything could happen, ” admitted Muldoon.

“It is all becoming very, very real and it is a fantastic place to be for a club as small as Connacht. The other three teams in the semi-finals are all former winners, so we won’t be underestimating the task that faces us.

“As a sportsman you are always looking around for some inspiration at times like this, for any small detail that can help, we need look no further than the example set by Leicester City this season. We’ve all been watching what they have achieved over the last few months and we’ll being hoping to follow their lead.

“They went out there and didn’t tie up – they went out and we true to themselves. It was great to see them celebrating in such style and it would be great to try to have our own party back at the Sportsground at the end of this month.”

Now 33, Muldoon kicked-off his Connacht career playing with club legends such as Mark McHugh, Eric Elwood, Bernard Jackman and Mike McCarthy. He was coached at first by Michael Bradley, then Eric Elwood and, most recently, by Pat Lam.

“It has been a long road with lot of ups and downs. There has been a lot of heartache over the years, but also plenty of occasions when we have overachieved, ” added Muldoon. “There are players and coaches who have been at the club who have put in a lot more than me and they are the ones I shall remember this weekend . . . and next, if we make it.

“Where we are now is as much about those players from the past, their efforts and sacrifices, as it is about the current team. The older I get, and the closer I move to retirement, the more I think about them.”

Read the full interview with John Muldoon in Saturday’s match day programme. 



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