Connacht’s 36-man squad set off for pre-season camp in France

Connacht's 36-man squad have set off for France as head coach Pat Lam prepares his player for the new season

Connacht train ahead of new season Photo: Martin Joyce

Pat Lam is hoping Connacht’s pre-season camp proves “hugely beneficial” after the 36-man squad set off for France.

Robbie Henshaw, Ronan Loughney, Jason Harris-Wright and Mata Fifita will all continue with their rehab programmes in Galway this week under the watchful eye of senior fitness coach Jim Molony.

Incoming players Mils Muliaina, Bundee Aki, Tom McCartney and John Cooney will complete the 41-man squad in the coming weeks.

“This is a very important phase in our pre-season preparations. After five weeks of training together in Galway, the squad will be able to get out to France with no interruptions,” said Lam.

“That’s the beauty of these trips. We can get away as a large squad and take the opportunity to test out our new systems and structures on the pitch. The week is also useful for building on relationships, especially with new guys coming in this season.

“As a player and coach, these trips can be hugely beneficial as long as the proper structures have been put in place. The management team have spent a lot of time preparing for this week and ensuring we get the most out of it.

“On Friday, we’re playing Clermont in what will be their last hit out before their opening Top 14 game against Grenoble the following week. In that regard, we expect a tough encounter but this fixture is less about the result, and more about how we perform. We want to give everyone some game time and try out different combinations ahead of the season kick-off and our game against Wasps in two weeks’ time.

“I’m very pleased with the preparation that has been done to date and looking forward to a good week from everyone in France.”

Connacht’s 36-man squad

Backs: Tiernan O’Halloran, Darragh Leader, Shane Layden, Fionn Carr, Matt Healy, Niyi Adeolokun, Danie Poolman, Shane O’Leary, Dave McSharry, Miah Nikora, Craig Ronaldson, Ian Porter, Kieran Marmion, Caolin Blade, Conor Finn, Jack Carty

Forwards: Denis Buckley, Finlay Bealham, Sean Henry, Dave Heffernan, Shane Delahunt, Nathan White, JP Cooney, Rodney Ah You, Aly Muldowney, Quinn Roux, Mick Kearney, Andrew Browne, Michael Swift, Eoghan Masterson, Danny Qualter, Jake Heenan, Willie Faloon, John Muldoon, George Naoupu, Eoin McKeon

Connacht Pre-Season Fixtures

Clermont Auverne v Connacht Rugby, 8 August
London Wasps v Connacht Rugby, 23 August

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