European rugby kicks off this weekend and Connacht begin their Challenge Cup campaign at home to Newcastle Falcons this Saturday at The Sportsground, kick-off 5.30pm.

Connacht front-row forward Peter Dooley was speaking ahead of this weekends game where he discussed the competition for places in the forward pack.

“There’s a good atmosphere amongst us forwards, we just look to control the controllables like the scrum and maul which is reflected in our game”

“We’re not kicking lumps out of each other in training but we are enjoying the competition aspect of it all and seeing lads push other lads on to reach the best they can week on week”

This is Dooley’s first season with Connacht having joined from Leinster this summer and he hopes himself and the other new faces in the squad have brought something different to Andy Friend’s side.

“There’s been a lot of new fresh ideas brought in between us new lads but also for the likes of myself, Colm (Tucker) and Dewald (Senekal) are new coaches to me and have brought new ideas to me”

First up in the Challenge Cup is the meeting of Newcastle Falcons which Dooley is expecting a big physical battle.

“Similar in a way to Benetton they have a few big bruisers in their pack”

“I’ve played rugby with George McGuigan who’s at Newcastle at Irish U20 so I know him quiet well”

“Like any English side they will be big and strong up front”

“We know they have a very good maul but we have huge confidence in our game so we just can’t wait to get out on Saturday and play”

Tickets for Saturday’s game are available HERE

Related

Eoin De Buitléar signs first Professional contract with Connacht Rugby