Sunday 23 April 2017

Connacht dreaming of Toulouse

McFarland: Hoping for Toulouse
McFarland: Hoping for Toulouse

Hugh Farrelly

Toulouse would be the "dream draw" for Connacht when the Heineken Cup pools are announced next month.

The ERC confirmed yesterday that the draw for the pool stages will be held on June 7 at Twickenham, where next season's final is to be staged.

And although Leinster proved themselves the best team in Europe when claiming the crown for a second time last Saturday, Connacht want four-times champions Toulouse when the draw is made.

"Toulouse is our dream draw, they are the giants of Europe," said assistant coach Dan McFarland yesterday. "Leinster are a fantastic team and the reason why we are in the competition, but we play them twice every year so in terms of a glamour tie it would have to be Toulouse.

"We are very positive about the knock-on effects of playing in the Heineken Cup. From the marketing aspect, there is a big push for season tickets, which are actually going down in price from €225 to €200.

"There are incentives built in like extra tickets, a free scarf, a free pint for adults at every game -- the value for money is incredible," he added.

"It should also help us to attract players to Connacht; our squad is pretty much in place but we are still looking for a centre.

"It's a massive step-up and a daunting challenge but a fantastic one at the same time and it gives everyone extra motivation.

"All our home group games will be played at the Sportsground, that's our home and we're not moving. Whatever is necessary will be done to get it ready."

Irish Independent

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