THE Connacht family has been hit hard by the retirement of centre Kyle Tonetti and the news that the career of their New Zealander Craig Clarke is also unsure.
This must be a distraction from the fine form they have been in, putting together three wins on the spin and looking for their fourth for the first time since 2003.
Coach Pat Lam will drill home the importance of the players delivering on the standards pushed by Clarke, the former Waikato Chiefs captain.
Strangely, the men from Gwent do not have a good recent record against Connacht as they have only been able to win one of the last five between the two clubs.
They have also lost their last half-dozen matches against Irish provinces. This should ensure that they turn up in the best frame of mind to prevent Connacht from overtaking them.