Thursday 8 December 2016

Two down, one to go – Two-thirds of Connacht's squad arrive home after nightmare Russian trip

Published 17/11/2015 | 14:19

Connacht players and management arrive back from Russia
Connacht players and management arrive back from Russia

Connacht's return journey from Russia is still not complete, though two of the three groups containing the squad have arrived back in Ireland.

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Pat Lam's side defeated Enisei-STM in their home base at Krasnoyarsk on Saturday in the Challenge Cup, but were grounded when a technical fault was discovered in their French charter aircraft.

The squad was split into three groups in an effort to come home as fast as possible, with those coming from Amsterdam and London safely back home. But Lam urged that further games hosted by Enisei-STM in their home base at Krasnoyarsk should take place in September or October when the weather is not as severe.

“It's a little bit of a dampener on a very good trip," Pat Lam Admitted. "We should have been home on Saturday night. Probably the worst news was trying to split the team into three, we didn't want to do that, but there was no guarantee the plane was going to be ready maybe till end of the week so it was the only way to get home and that was the priority.

 “I am pretty proud of the management players and everybody is just getting on with it. It’s been one challenge after another. One day we look back at it and say it made us tougher,” he said.

The atrocities in France also had an impact on Connacht’s return and Lam said what happened there put their own difficulties into perspective.

“What happened in Paris was devastating and it had an effect on everything, planes were delayed and just trying to squeeze everything in.

Connacht play Brive at the Sportsground this Saturday.

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