Friday 18 August 2017

Connacht in need of help

A try in overtime with the last move of the game denied Connacht a much needed victory on Friday night against Glasgow.

A win would not have rescued Connacht's Magners League season, but it would have served as a useful reminder to the IRFU that Connacht has the potential to be a credible force if it is given the resources to compete.

Irish rugby needs Connacht to succeed, but it exists on sufferance. It will face a further threat from Sevens rugby, with some elements in the IRFU arguing it cannot fund both Connacht and an international Sevens squad. It is not a choice: the IRFU will simply have to find the money, internally and externally, to do both.

Instead of seeing Connacht as a problem, it needs to see it as an opportunity to build on rugby's ever-growing popularity, just as Sevens, with its new Olympic status and a hugely popular international circuit, offers a real chance to bring the game to an even wider audience.

aruddock@independent.ie

Sunday Independent

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