Following a break in games, the Connacht squad stepped up preparations this week ahead of the visit of Zebre to the Sportsground on Friday night.
Pat Lam’s men, who currently sit in sixth place, welcome the Italian side for round 8 of the GUINNESS PRO12 competition and are likely to introduce a number of new players for the Friday night clash.
Connacht’s latest arrival, Tom McCartney (pictured below), as well as Mils Muliaina and Bundee Aki, who made his debut away to the Ospreys in the last round, were all in full training yesterday and are available to the coaching team this week.
While front rower JP Cooney was ruled out of action for up to six weeks after suffering a hand fracture in training last week, the propping options were since boosted with the return of Ronan Loughney and Finlay Bealham to match fitness.
Lock Aly Muldowney has reported ongoing concussive symptoms and is therefore unavailable this week, while the Connacht medical team have also ruled out winger Niyi Adeolokun due to a high ankle sprain picked up against the Ospreys last time out.
Ireland squad members Robbie Henshaw, Rodney Ah You, Kieran Marmion and Darragh Leader are all training at Carton House early this week. Players not selected to play in the final GUINNESS Series game against Australia will be released back to the province.
Connacht v Zebre tickets, starting at just €;20 for adults, are still available from tickets.ie, Centra & SuperValu stores province-wide or from the Connacht Rugby office at the Sportsground.