The Connacht squad are in the final stages of their pre-season preparations with their opening round of the GUINNESS PRO12 kicking off on Saturday when the Newport Gwent Dragons visit the Sportsground (kick-off 5pm).
Unavailable for Saturday’s opening clash is new centre Shane O’Leary who picked up a quad haematoma in training last week.
The 21-year-old Corkman, who joined Connacht during the summer from FC Grenoble, should return to running later in the week and will be assessed ahead of the round 2 fixture away to Edinburgh.
Also unavailable for another week is winger Matt Healy who sustained a hand fracture in Connacht’s pre-season game away to Clermont Auvergne last month.
Healy joins Tiernan O’Halloran (knee), Mils Muliaina (elbow), Andrew Browne (knee), Jason Harris-Wright (shoulder) and Mata Fifita (shoulder) in the rehab group.
Meanwhile, the province’s captain John Muldoon, prop Ronan Loughney and versatile forward Aly Muldowney all returned to full training at the Sportsground yesterday and are expected to be available for selection this week.
In terms of recent encounters, Connacht beat the Dragons 24-8 at Rodney Parade at the end of March last season.
Tickets for Connacht v Dragons are available on tickets.ie, in Centra & SuperValu stores province-wide and from the Connacht Rugby offices at the Sportsground. Adult tickets start at €;20 while it is €;5 for all Juniors (17 years and under).