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Bradley Hoping For Winning Start

Bradley Hoping For Winning Start

Connacht coach Michael Bradley is hopeful his side can make a winning start in the Magners League when they take on Newport Gwent Dragons at the Sportsground on Friday (kick off 6pm).

The harvesting has begun and it is time to play in the Magners League. The Welsh sides have a head start having already two games apiece. The Dragons already have four points on the board having beaten Llanelli in their opening game only to lose to Cardiff six days later. Connacht, with a few warm up games under their belt, will be hoping to hit the ground running.

Bradley feels that Connacht can make the most of the fact that some of the other teams in the Magners League will be without internationals who are away on World Cup duty.

Connacht will be without Gavin Duffy who is in the Irish World Cup squad but some of the other sides in the Magners League will have several players absent.

“We recognise that there is a bit of pressure on us, on the basis that these teams that we’ll be playing against are currently without their international stars,” said Bradley.

“Having said that they also have very strong squads, but it is an opportunity for us and we recognise that and we’re going to put the pressure on ourselves to try and get some results early on and get a good start in the league,” said the former Irish scrum-half.

Bradley says that while the Dragons will be coming to the Sportsground with two games already under their belt in the Magners League this season (they defeated Llanelli away but lost to Cardiff at home) he believes his own side’s tough pre-season campaign will stand to them.

“We had four very tough games in our preseason and a lot of excitement with our fixture against South Africa. The two games with Castres and the trip to Harlequins were also very good workouts.

“The lads are eager and looking forward to the start of the season. There are ten or eleven new players coming in and some of them will get their first start.

“Its also on the day when Ireland play France so there’ll be excitement regarding that fixture as well. The overall feeling in the camp at the moment is we are now looking forward to testing the side having played four preseason games.”

Bradley will name the Connacht side on Thursday morning for Friday’s opening game of the Magners League at the Sportsground.