Wilkins gives squad update ahead of Lyon

09 January 2024

Wilkins gives squad update ahead of Lyon

This weekend Connacht travel to France where they take on Top 14 side Lyon in Round 3 of the Investec Champions Cup, kick off is 1pm on Saturday at the Matmut Stadium de Gerland.

Heading into the game, Connacht Head Coach Pete Wilkins has suffered a blow with Mack Hansen out for three to four months after getting surgery on a shoulder injury picked up in the win over Munster on New Years Day.

"It's disappointing for us to lose Mack for such a period of time but for Mack it's more disappointing especially with the Six Nations so close" said Wilkins.

"I know the fans will miss watching him play but it is up to us now to fill that gap and a chance for other players to step up and take their chance"

Mack isn't the only injury on the list of players out for Pete and his coaching team. Cathal Forde and Caolin Blade are two other players that picked up injuries in that inetrpro derby. With Colm Reilly out with an ankle injury, Pete spoke about the depth in the scrum half position coming in to these next few games (Update).

"We have good depth around that scrum half position with Michael McDonald there who has been playing well in the games he's played"

"We have Matthew Devine from our academy who is very highly thought of, he's been training with us full time since the start of pre-season"

"Thomas Farthing from our recent U19 squad who is now in the academy is there as well"

"We're happy with the players we have available in that position"

The win over Munster was a first in six games for Connacht as they now get set for back-to-back Champions Cup games.

"I think it was a really important victory but I don't think it's a turning point with how the whole season has gone, it was certainly important though to break that run of defeats"

"It gives everyone huge belief and energy over these next two weeks"

"We head to France this weekend which everyone knows is never easy"

"French teams at home are always dangerous, Lyon I'm sure aren't where they would like to be position wise in the two competitions but this is a home game for them and I expect them to come fully loaded"