Every day we’re shining a light on one of our newest arrivals over the summer, and help you get to know each of them before we return to the field later in the month.
Today it's the turn of the newest member of the prop club, Jack Aungier.
Jack welcome, how have your first few weeks been as a Connacht Rugby player?
I have settled in very well, the players and staff have made me feel very welcome here which has made the transition a lot easier. I would know a few of the lads from the Irish U20’s team which helped. Training has been tough but it is brilliant to get back into rugby and train as a team. A lot of it has been conditioning and gym sessions before this week, it is brilliant to be able to get back into the rugby part of things. I am looking forward to the games in August.
Normally you meet all coaches and players when you first start but for you, training started in smaller groups, was that strange?
We were in groups of seven at the start, I only ended up meeting everyone last week. It was our first time all together in one big group. It was strange having to clean the whole place down after being in the gym and maintaining a distance from the players and coaches, it took a bit of getting used to.
Do you feel being in the smaller groups allowed you to get to know people better?
The guys I am living with were in my initial group, I would have known them previously from the age-grade teams. I got to know Eoghan Masterson and Caolin Blade quite well. Eventually, I got to meet everyone as the weeks went on, everyone is easy to get on with.
How have you found working with the coaches and S&C teams?
The S&C team put us through our paces for the first few weeks. The programme is slightly different from what I was used to in Leinster, it did take a bit of getting used to. I feel fit after the first month, coming into the rugby side of things, I am still coming around to all the plays and calls with Nigel, Pete, Jimmy, and Andy. I have gotten to know them well over the last few weeks and I am learning new things every week.
Was it tough waiting for pre-season to start knowing you’re joining a new club but at the same time going through the lock-down and everything?
My last game with Leinster was 5 months ago and when I left the building I didn’t know it was going to my last time. That is the way professional rugby goes and you must move on. I was looking forward to getting started with Connacht. The last month has been brilliant for me.
There’s a lot of competition for places in your position so I presume you’re all eager to impress ahead of the Interpros?
I think props tend to mingle with each other straight away, they are all great lads and there is great competition there. I know Andy mentioned that there isn’t much of a pecking order, that tight head position is up for grabs. I am certainly looking forward to competing with those lads over the next two years.
What would like to achieve with Connacht?
My aim is to get on the team every week, it’s a competitive position. My goal is to play as much as I can whether that is starting or from the bench. I want to build up my experience and my overall goal is to win a league with Connacht, that’s why we play the game. From talking to the coaches there is a competitive squad here that can win the PRO14 and compete in Europe.
Final question, have you experienced much of Connacht and Galway since you got here?
I have been out and around a good bit, I want to make sure I get out and explore on my days off. I want to experience that culture, it is different to the East of Ireland. It has been brilliant so far.