Saturday 10 December 2016

Connacht's bid to add two backs to European squad turned down by EPCR

Published 15/12/2015 | 18:07

Connacht head coach Pat Lam during a press conference. Sportsground, Galway. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
Connacht head coach Pat Lam during a press conference. Sportsground, Galway. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

Injury-ridden Connacht have been told that they can't add two backs to his squad for this weekend's Challenge Cup clash with Newcastle after their request was turned down by the European governing body.

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Pat Lam had hoped to upgrade fullback Ciaran Gaffney and outhalf Conor McKeon from their academy to their European squad but the EPCR said it couldn't bend the rules for the western province.

“No conversation [with EPCR], just an email,” says Lam. “No, the rules are the rules, and we only had the one change available in the frontrow.”

Denis Buckley will have surgery on his ankle tomorrow and will be ruled out for eight weeks. Saba Meunargia replaces him in the squad.

The Connacht boss admitted that he may not be able to name a matchday 23 given the extent of the injury crisis.

“It’s not great. Hopefully we will get some more guys [back], but if not we will have to go with just 21 or 22 players. Hopefully we will have 23 at the end of the week, and if not, it is just the way it is – 21, I remember we used to do it in the old days. We just have to get on with it."

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