Connacht's pre-season regime got underway this morning in balmy conditions in Galway, with a number of new signings taking part in the fitness tests.
Squad newcomers Shane O'Leary, Ian Porter and Niyi Adeolokun reported to the Sportsground where they collected some new BLK kit, met their new team-mates, and underwent a comprehensive day of testing with Connacht's medical and conditioning teams.
A number of players away on international duty with different representative squads will join up with their provincial team-mates in July, while New Zealanders Mils Muliaina, Bundee Aki and Tom McCartney are expected to arrive at different stages starting in late August.
The core group of players present today were required to report for duty at 7.30am to undergo a thorough examination consisting of strength and power testing, body composition, physiotherapy screening and fitness assessments.
The first of the two-day testing concluded with the annual 1.2km run at the Dangan track in NUI Galway where specific targets are set out for each player. Senior fitness coach Jim Molony was satisfied that all the players conquered and even surpassed their individual target times.
On Friday the players will be put through their paces again with more power and strength testing in the morning followed by a Yo-Yo test in the afternoon.
Speaking during Connacht's training trip to Ballinrobe RFC, captain John Muldoon said: "It's great to see the jerseys and the people coming out to support us today. Long may it continue because we're not a Galway team, we're a Connacht team and that's what we want to push and that's why we come out on these days out."
Young hooker David Heffernan, who extended his current deal with Connacht in April, enjoyed a trip back to his native Mayo as Pat Lam's men held an open training session at Ballinrobe RFC earlier this week.
Rob Murphy caught up with Connacht head coach Pat Lam after their bonus point win at home to Benetton Treviso. The westerners have been in resurgent form of late, picking up three straight league victories and 14 points from a possible 15.
Connacht head coach Pat Lam was left to rue turnovers and poor defence after they went down 19-12 to Glasgow Warriors in the RaboDirect PRO12. He said the November international break 'couldn't come at a better time for us' as they look to come back 'refreshed' and with more players back fit from injury lay-offs.
Speaking to LTV, Leinster back rower Kevin McLaughlin reflects on the draw with the Ospreys last weekend and says that with a number of players returning to action, the province are looking to 'really up our performances and get some big results' in the coming weeks.
Gordon D'Arcy says he felt 'sharp and fresh' during Leinster's opening RaboDirect PRO12 win over the Scarlets. He also told LTV that there is always room for improvement as the province gear up to host the Ospreys this weekend.
Leinster ran in three tries in the closing stages of their RaboDirect PRO12 opener to seal a bonus point and an impressive 42-19 defeat of the Scarlets. Their new head coach Matt O'Connor spoke to LTV about the game, the impact of new signing Jimmy Gopperth and how the new scrums are working out.
Rob Murphy spoke to Connacht head coach Pat Lam who took a number of positives from their 25-16 RaboDirect PRO12 victory over Zebre, but he admitted they 'still have a bit to work on' ahead of this week's trip to the Cardiff Blues.
Irish Rugby TV spoke to former Ireland flanker Simon Easterby at the RaboDirect PRO12 launch in Belfast, as the Scarlets head coach prepares his squad to host defending champions Leinster in next Friday's opener.