Conboy thrilled with academy role
Ambrose Conboy has been named elite player development officer with Connacht, replacing Jimmy Duffy, who was promoted to forwards coach following Dan McFarland's departure.
Conboy was head coach of the Connacht U-18s last season, and comes to the role with a rich history in the local game.
And after watching the next generation of Connacht players work their way into the academy, Conboy says he's thrilled to get the chance to hone their skills and guide their path through to Pat Lam's squad.
"I am delighted to be joining the Connacht Academy set-up where there is a fantastic culture and top-class structures in place for player development on and off the pitch," Conboy said.
"I have worked with many of these young players in the past so I'm really excited to continue overseeing their progress to an elite level."
Conboy's skippered Galwegians for four seasons between 2003 to 2006 and coached Our Ladies Boys Club RFC for a four-year stint that included reaching the All-Ireland qualifiers in 2014.
As head coach of the Connacht Juniors in 2012, he led the side to a junior inter-provincial championship.
And the Salthill man recently held the role of rugby master and teacher at St Joseph's College (The Bish) in Galway.
Over the last two years he has worked with national scrum coach Greg Feek as part of the IRFU Elite Scrummaging Programme.
In his new role at Connacht, Conboy will work with academy manager Nigel Carolan and EPDO Mossy Lawler, with whom he will also coach the Connacht U-20s side.
Still no dates for Challenge ties
By John Fallon
Connacht hope to soon find out their schedule of matches for the European Challenge Cup.
The Pool 1 fixtures were not released two weeks ago when the schedule for all the other games in the competition were disclosed.
At issue is where the Russian side Enisei-STM will play their home matches and how the other teams in the pool will be able to travel there during the winter months.
It seems likely that the Russians will play their home matches in the Winter Olympic city Sochi, which would make it somewhat easier for visiting teams to get to.
Enisei-STM are the Russian champions and have won four of the last six titles. They are the third most successful team in Russian history, with six crowns in the competition which started in 1992.
The Aviva Premiership will not get under way until mid-October because of the World Cup, but Newcastle Falcons will be in action this evening when they will host Michael Bradley's Georgia in a pre-season friendly.
Brive are already into competitive action but were blown away in the opening half away to Toulouse on Saturday on the opening weekend of the Top 14.
They have a big pack, boosted by a handful of Georgians, but created little behind the scrum and went down 24-7.
They looked set for a hammering when trailing 24-0 at the break and will be looking to bounce back at home to champions Stade Francais tomorrow night.
The Future Is Bright: Stephen McVeigh
I'm from Athlone so at a young age I played with Buccaneers RFC. I then went to secondary school in Clongowes.
During my first three years there I played in the backs. I played out-half for the Junior Cup team, and then in fourth year I moved into the pack. I then played No8 for the Senior Cup team in 5th and 6th year.
While in school I represented Leinster at underage level and Ireland at U-19 level. After school I came to Galway for college in NUIG and to train with the Connacht Sub-Academy.
I also represented Connacht U-20s in the inter-pros and Ireland U-20s in the Six Nations and Junior World Cup.
Favourite Connacht game: The game at the Sportsground against London Scottish in the B&I Cup last year. I got my first try for the Eagles and we scored in the last play of the game to get our first win of the competition that season.
Most memorable game I have played in: The Leinster Schools final two years ago for Clongowes against Blackrock in the RDS. Unfortunately we lost 22-17 but it was a very tight game with two great teams.
Favourite ground: Playing in Thomond Park and beating the Munster U-20s in the Inter-pros last year was pretty special. Training against the Irish seniors in the Aviva Stadium was also a great experience.
Date of birth: June 12, 1995
Place of birth: Ballinasloe, Galway
Position: back row
School: Clongowes Wood College
University: NUIG, 2nd year arts
International honours: 4 caps Ireland U-20s, 2 caps Ireland U-19s.
Other sports played: Gaelic football, golf, tennis and soccer.