Thursday 24 August 2017

This game will be easy to get up for

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Johnny O'Connor

These are the games that professional rugby players play rugby for. It's the big ones that you dream about being involved in and there's so much resting on this Champions Cup play-off against Northampton Saints at Franklin's Gardens, writes Johnny O'Connor.

This type of game really focuses the minds. You get to go to Northampton's own back yard and challenge them there. You're not human if you can't get up for a game like this. 

The players won't be thinking about anything else this week, even if people might have accused them of switching off and settling for eighth position in the last few rounds of the Guinness Pro12.

They will travel to Northampton full of motivation, willingness and endeavour. As a club you are going over there to win and have another chance of getting into the Champions Cup for next season. 

Connacht need to be in the Champions Cup, and they would really regret missing out when it comes time for the draw for the pool stage later in the year.

Ultimately, missing out would be a step in the wrong direction and if you are out of it, it would only be harder to qualify for it again next time around.

Times are changing at the Sportsground with Kieran Keane coming in, and a new-look backroom team. This game could have massive repercussions.

Irish Independent

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