An extended Connacht squad of 25 players will travel to Italy to take on Benetton Rugby this Saturday (kick-off 1pm local time/12pm Irish time), with Ultan Dillane set to play in Treviso before rejoining the Ireland squad.
From there, Kieran Keane’s men will make their first GUINNESS PRO14 trip to South Africa where they will take on the Toyota Cheetahs in Bloemfontein in an historic clash on Saturday week (March 3).
Ahead of the tour, the Connacht medical team have confirmed that Denis Buckley will integrate into team training this week following his recovery from ankle surgery in early January. Fellow prop Conor Carey injured his shoulder against Zebre and is awaiting the results of a scan to determine the extent of the injury.
JP Cooney is recovering from hamstring surgery and will be out of action until April, while hooker Pat O’Toole is continuing to rehab his hamstring injury and lock Andrew Browne is recovering from the shoulder injury he sustained against the Ospreys and will be out of action for four to six weeks.
Ireland international Tiernan O’Halloran is nearing a return to team training following his hamstring injury, as is back rower Eoin McKeon (calf). Peter Robb will integrate into team training this week following his recovery from a hamstring injury, but Jake Heenan (shoulder surgery) will be out of action until April.