The 2023/24 season see's Tiernan O'Halloran come into his fifteenth season with Connacht. Having made his debut back in the 2009/10, the Clifden man is more excited than ever after a long pre-season with the squad to recharge the batteries.
"I think in fairness we got plenty of time off before the pre-season started, but personally as a professional athlete I think six weeks off is a long time"
"If you get a bit longer than that you can go down a slippy slope, especially some of the bigger lads who like to eat well on the off season"
"But it was good to get that time off as it was badly needed after a big season last season'
"It was a long pre-season but we had time to get our heads around it before we came back"
"We had a week off in between to break it up which was important but I think we got a lot of good work done with the new coaches who have arrived and brought fresh ideas"
"The long pre-season gave us time to adapt to tose changes that have been brought in"
Last Saturday Connacht beat Glasgow at home to make it two wins from two in the URC. Tiernan feels the team got a big wake up call leading into half-time during that game.
"In that second twenty minutes Glasgow were very much on top and going into half-time Pete had some stern words for us at the break"
"We spoke about it leading into the game that if you give away back-to-back penalties against a team like Glasgow they will punish you and that's what we did"
"We knew our backs were against the wall going into half-time due to our own mistakes really"
"Pete gave us a few fix ups and I think we responded well in that second half"
"Overall it was a good performance especially for this time of the season, we know though we need to keep getting better and keep improving"
Focus now turns to this weekend's interpro derby at The Sportsground against an Ulster side who have started the season well themselves winning their opening two games.
"Ulster are a quality side and you know you need to be at your very best when it comes to these games"
"There's great respect between both sets of players but for 80 minutes on the pitch its a battle"
"We hope to see a massive crowd this Saturday, these interpro games are special and the crowd are the reason for that"
"We need to make Saturday's game bring a noise level that can be heard arcross the city"