Connacht have announced that Michael Bradley’s side will take on Portugal in a friendly match at the Sportsground on Wednesday, November 5 (kick-off 7.30pm).
This extra fixture in Connacht’s already busy schedule brings their home matches at the Sportsground to a staggering 17 for the season.
Portugal will be the first international side Connacht have faced since they hosted South Africa in August last year ahead of their successful World Cup campaign.
In all, the Portuguese will be the 11th international side to face Connacht at the Sportsground.
Connacht players Ian Keatley and Kieran Campbell already got a preview of just how good the Portugese are last weekend in Hannover, when the Ireland Sevens side lost out by 14-12 in a very tight semi-final.
Scrum half Campbell feels that that result, coupled with Portugal’s impressive showing at the World Cup last year, sends a strong message out that November’s clash, which is due to take place during the autumn Internationals, will be a very competitive one.
“They’re a very physical side, their skill level was high and they were certainly well conditioned,” the former Ireland international said.
“Their backs were evasive with good ability to achieve line-breaks which is a great bonus in both Sevens and the 15-man game.
“They’re a very committed side who competed very well in the recent World Cup. With players playing at a good level in Europe this is enabling them to progress quickly towards the top flight of European rugby.
“With that in mind they’ll provide us with very tough opposition in November and we’ll have to be at our very best for the game.”
This game brings Connacht’s total home matches for the season to an unprecedented 17, making this year’s Connacht season ticket even greater value.
When one takes into account the quality of sides visiting the Sportsground in the coming season, including last season’s Heineken Cup winners Munster, semi-finalists London Irish, EDF Energy Cup winners the Ospreys, Magners League champions Leinster, as well as 90% of the Irish, Welsh and Scottish sides, it shows that world class rugby will be on offer in Galway throughout the 2008/09 campaign.
For more information on the Connacht season tickets, please visit the Connacht Rugby website at www.connachtrugby.ie or call the branch offices on tel: (091) 561 568.