Connacht are back in Challenge Cup action this weekend as French side Brive come to The Sportsground for Round 3.

This game won’t be televised but you can purchase your tickets right HERE

In his first year with Connacht Rugby Byron Ralston has had to adapt to a lot of new things coming from Australia, one of those things being the weather here in the west of Ireland and particularly the recent wet weather we’ve been having.

“Every day I wake up and wonder is it going to be sunny but slowly I am getting used to it”

“It is taking a bit of time to adapt to it, I always turn to Mack or Porchy and say is it always like this”

Competition for places in the Connacht midfield is very competitive with the likes of Cathal Forde, David Hawkshaw and Tom Farrell to name a few.

“There’s some serious energy around the group and when you look at the roster and see the names you know going into every training session you need to be on your game”

“There’s real depth here and lads are pushing each other to improve”

“You’ve got Bundee, Tom Daly, Shayne Bolton and Shane Jennings as well”

“I think it puts us in a good position having all these players fighting for the two jersey”

The challenge now turns to Brive this Saturday after last weekends bonus point win over the Sharks. Coming into the game Byron sees a few similarities from the Sharks and Brive.

“It was good to see our forwards perform well against a strong South African side and Brive will be the same” said Ralston

“It was a tough encounter playing Brive over in France, it wasn’t as hostile as we thought it might be but the main thing is we got the win leaving there”

“It was a really physical game and the Sharks brought that as well on Saturday so it was a good test coming into this one”

“We’re just looking to play the Connacht brand of rugby so whatever Brive bring we’ll be ready”

“We want to move the ball and play fast so let Brive work on us and we’ll do our bit around them but the main thing for us is playing our type of game”

Questions marks may be around Brive as to how committed they are to the Challenge Cup but Byron knows Connacht can’t go into the game with a mindset thinking they have to just show up.

“We’re excited for Saturday’

“We want to get the five points as we know how important every point is as we get closer to the knockout stages”

“Playing on front of our fans adds to that excitement, last weekend conditions weren’t great but they still came out to support us and no doubt they will do the same again”

“Fans play such an important part in every game and we’re lucky we have great supporters”

“Whatever mindset Brive are in come Saturday is no concern of ours, we have to get our own house in order and do what we need to do”

The Connacht team for Saturday will be announced on Friday.

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