Pete Wilkins: Bordeaux preview

06 December 2023

Pete Wilkins: Bordeaux preview

Focus at The Sportsground is all on the return of Champions Cup rugby to Galway this Friday as French side Bordeaux Begles come to town for the opening round.

It's a busy period in the rugby calendar with plenty of big games happening incluidng back-to-back Champions Cup games. Connacht will travel to Saracens next weekend for round 2 but eyes are fully focused on this Friday against a quality side like Bordeaux who have a number of French international players.

Speaking ahead of the game was Connacht Head Coach Pete Wilkins,

"This is where this club wants to be and you can feel the buzz around the squad all week"

"The Champions Cup is the biggest prize in the club game with the best teams and players"

"We need to raise our game each week we play, but now we need to adapt, adapt to a different challenge which the Champions cup brings"

"Bordeaux have some star names in their squad which is part of the excitment for us and no doubt our supporters"

"We're focused on our game but at the same time we know the threats they possess which we need to nulify"

Santiago Cordero may be ruled out of this game against his former club, but the Argentinian inetrnational is heavily involved in the build up to Friday said Wilkins.

"Santi has been able to give us insights to what Bordeaux did in the past during his time there"

"We've had more formal sit downs with him around a number of things leading up to Friday"

"He's been great and not just this week, every week he's had insights to give"

"I think he's more excited than anyone for Friday, I'm just devastated he doesn't get a chance to play"

Ahead of the game Pete announced the return of Bundee Aki who is available for selection this week. If selected it will be the World Rugby player of the year nominees first game back at The Sportsground since returning from the World Cup with Ireland.

"We're delighted to have him back"

"He's a special player and we all saw the form he was in during the World Cup"