Time to Buck up

17 February 2023

Time to Buck up

Its a trip to Parma this weekend for Connacht in the BKT United Rugby Championship as they take on Zebre at the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi. Kick off is 3.05pm Irish time.

The Six Nations and URC isn't the only thing happening around this time of year in the world of rugby from a Connacht point of view. We're at the stage of the season where new contracts are announced, is this period a tricky one for players to keep their minds focused on upcoming games? Connacht loosehead prop Denis Buckley gave his thoughts.

"For a player like me you do get use to this period and just get on with things"

"Every year there's turnovers in the squad and coaching staff so its something you expect and you just have to be able to focus on performing as professional players whatever is happening"

The competition in the front-row has been very impressive this season for Connacht and one which the Roscommon native Buckley has enjoyed.

"Peter Dooley came in this year which brought more competition for that number 1 jersey, at tighthead Jack Aungier has brought his game to a new level this season so there has been an improvement in that selection I feel"

"Our training sessions are at a very high standard and we're at that stage in the season where it is so high that when we get to the games its not as tough in those games"

"Credit to Cullie (Colm Tucker Connacht scrum & contact coach) who has driven the standard with the systems and processes he's put in place"

"We've had a lot of good scrum performances in games this year which is a nice place to be as a front row"

For Denis and the rest of the pack all focus is on the challenge of Zebre this Saturday in Parma.

"They have a big physical pack, they don't always get their scrum right but when they do they cause problems"

"Against Bristol with the likes of Sinckler and Genge they did well"

"In their defence they would have a lot of dominant tackles so again the physicality side of things will be big this weekend"

The team to face Zebre will be announced tomorrow!