18 May, 11:09
IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne has issued a statement following confirmation of Ronan O'Gara's decision to retire from playing professional rugby.
Welcome to issue three of The North Terrace: Fans Views. This is the column where members of the Irish Rugby Supporters Club get to give their views on all things rugby.
So far we have had a seasonal views for Ulster and Leinster. This week it is the turn of Connacht. Flying high in the Magners League, the province are on a run of six home games at the Sportsground where coach Michael Bradley feels they can build up some momentum and support: "It was superb last Friday the way the supporters got right behind the side, especially in the second half when the game was hanging in the balance.
"That backing has to be worth a score or two. Let's hope we can build on the Friday night experience and the fan base will continue to grow in the coming weeks."
For this week's views we go to London and John Harte, as committed a Connacht supporter as you could find!
"The Connacht squad have made a dream start to the Magners League this year. Connacht momentarily topped the league last week after winning their second game of the competition. Firstly by beating Borders last week in Galashiels and following this up with an outstanding win against a star-studded Ospreys team at the Sportsground.
"The future certainly looks bright for the westerners. Our next five league games are at home and we need to pick up some wins and bonus points in these games, to continue our good start. I think Connacht's goal will to be finish fifth or sixth and that is a realistic possibility. However I believe we will finish seventh or eighth which would be a great improvement on last season's tenth.
"With season tickets as cheap as 40 Euro for juniors, 85 Euro for senior citizens/students and only 150 Euro for an adult ticket to watch world class rugby - it will be money well spent. So lets get the numbers up at the Sportsground and roar the lads onto more victories.
"Finally and as a sign of things to come, while the Ospreys' game last week was voted as one of the most memorable wins in the league by Connacht supporters, there will be more before the season is out."
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