Thursday 24 August 2017

Wilkinson and Duffy in fitness race as Bradley looks to avenge Dragons loss

Gavin Duffy in race against time to be fit for the Magners League Clash against the Dragons Photo: Getty Images
Gavin Duffy in race against time to be fit for the Magners League Clash against the Dragons Photo: Getty Images

Two of Connacht's most experienced players face a race against time to be fit for the Magners League clash against the Dragons at the Sportsground on Friday evening.

Former Ireland international back Gavin Duffy (28) is nursing a jaw injury which he picked up in the loss at Munster on St Stephen's Day.

And loosehead prop Brett Wilkinson (26) is struggling with a hand injury sustained in the same game.

Both were ruled out of the cancelled game against Leinster at the weekend and remain big doubts for Friday night's fixture in Galway.

Coach Michael Bradley may decide not to risk the two front-liners, given that Connacht face a crucial Amlin Challenge Cup tie against Montpellier the following week.

Assess

"We will assess them later in the week and make a call," said Bradley, who will be hoping his side can avenge the 23-10 loss away to the Dragons in October.

"We have a good record against them here and will be looking to maintain that on Friday.

"We kicked too much ball when we played them over there. We need to play more rugby against them, hold on to the ball and take them on."

Connacht officials are continuing their efforts to ensure Friday's game survives the cold weather, with heaters being used on the surface in addition to heavier covering.

"We will maintain daily contact with the Dragons and a call will be made on Thursday morning to decide whether the game goes ahead, but we are hopeful it will," said Connacht CEO Gerry Kelly.

Irish Independent

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