Over three months of pre-season and waiting on competitive games to be back, the season opener is nearly upon us. Connacht welcome Ospreys to The Sportsground this Saturday and back-rower Conor Oliver is ready and set to get going.
It has been a long pre-season for the coaches and players but plenty of time for the new voices and new faces to settle in with the squad.
"Having the new faces around has been refreshen, and it brings new challenges" said Oliver
"Pre-season has been long but very enjoyable"
"At the start it seemed very daunting with how long it looked but it flew by which I think is a great sign"
"We're excited to get going because at this stage we're sick of the fitness running"
"As much as I love training I just want to be back out on the pitch playing"
After a tricky start to last season, Connacht ended their season reaching the last four of the URC. Oliver feels they can take plenty of confidence from last season but need to push on this season if they want to improve.
"I suppose our run to the end of last season has brought great confidence to the group knowing how far we can push ourseleves"
"We have great belief within ourselves and what we're building here at Connacht"
"The players and coaches all get on with each other on and off the field"