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Committed Connacht are Blues in disguise

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MIGHTY QUINN: Quinn Roux spent three years at Leinster before heading west to Connacht Pic: Sportsfile

MIGHTY QUINN: Quinn Roux spent three years at Leinster before heading west to Connacht Pic: Sportsfile

MIGHTY QUINN: Quinn Roux spent three years at Leinster before heading west to Connacht Pic: Sportsfile

Leinster have lost four of their last six matches in Galway.

The secret to the champions difficulties on the far side of the Shannon is down to more than just the special atmosphere generated there.

That's because Connacht has been the home to Leinster 'rejects,' for want of a better way of saying it.

Those who could not make it had to look elsewhere and Connacht has been the landing spot for 16 of their senior squad.

This includes all from Niyi Adeolokun, who spent no more than three months in Leinster's Sub Academy, all the way up to Ireland second row Quinn Roux, who was surplus to requirement after three years at the RDS.

The most hurt must be harboured by those, such as Tom Farrell and Gavin Thornbury, who completed their three years in the Leinster Academy.

There have even been those, including Blackrock College's Denis Buckley and Dave Heffernan, Roscrea's Tiernan O'Halloran and Newbridge's James Connolly, who took their rugby education out of the Leinster system and into the Connacht Academy.

The links from East to West are many and vary in strength and longevity.

The motivation for the Connacht men connected to Leinster failure is as strong as it has ever been.

"Next week is going to be a step-up again, particularly after what happened to us down there last year," said Leinster scrum coach John Fogarty of the challenge that will be faced with at the Sportsground.

"We know Connacht and the intent that they come with. They've a lot of players that have come through the Leinster system at different stages.

"We know that they're always very, very motivated when they play against us.

"We understand what that's like, so it's going to be a good challenge," added Fogarty.

LEINSTER EXPORTS

TO CONNACHT:

QUINN ROUX

Leinster (2012-2015).

TOM FARRELL (right)

School: Castleknock College.

Leinster Academy (three years).

GAVIN THORNBURY

School: Blackrock College.

Leinster Academy (three years).

CIAN KELLEHER

School: St Michael's College.

Leinster Academy (two years).

PAUL BOYLE

Club: Gorey RFC.

Leinster Sub-Academy (two years).

SHANE DELAHUNT

School: Kilkenny College.

Leinster Sub-Academy (two years).

ROBIN COPELAND

School: Kilkenny College.

Leinster Sub-Academy (one year).

EOGHAN MASTERSON

Club: Portlaoise RFC.

Leinster Sub-Academy (one year).

MATT HEALY

School: Gonzaga College.

Leinster Sub-Academy (one year).

PETER ROBB

School: Blackrock College.

Leinster Sub-Academy (one year).

CRAIG RONALDSON

School: Kilkenny College.

Leinster Sub-Academy (six months). Club: Lansdowne (2008-2013).

NIYI ADEOLOKUN

School: De La Salle, Churchtown.

Leinster Sub-Academy (three months). Club: Trinity College (2009-2014).

DENIS BUCKLEY

School: Blackrock College.

Representative: Leinster Schools.

TIERNAN O'HALLORAN (left)

School: Roscrea.

Representative: Leinster Schools.

DAVE HEFFERNAN (above)

School: Blackrock College.

Representative: Leinster Schools.

JAMES CONNOLLY

School: Newbridge College.

Representative: Leinster Schools.

guinness PRO 14

Connacht v Leinster,

Live TG4/eir Sport (Tom, KO 5.15)


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