Sunday 22 July 2018

Cannon relishes Brive test

Connacht's James Cannon. Photo: Sportsfile
Connacht's James Cannon. Photo: Sportsfile

Daragh Small

Connacht lock James Cannon says he relishes the opportunity to play at a hostile French venue this weekend.

Brive may be in relegation trouble but Cannon knows they rarely lose at home. Connacht are top of Pool 5 in the Challenge Cup heading into tomorrow's crunch tie at Stade Amedee-Domenech in the first of the crucial back-to-back fixtures.

The 29-year-old former Northampton Saint has never played against Brive before. But previous experience with Wasps and Connacht in France have whetted the appetite.

"It's a slightly different atmosphere," said Cannon.

"I can guarantee that the atmosphere at the ground will be loud and attritional which is great for a player to play in that kind of atmosphere. Not dissimilar to the Sportsground on a packed night, and it's exciting. It's exciting to go down there and test yourself against something different than what you are used to.

"The French packs play a slightly different brand of rugby than the teams in the PRO14 do, so it's nice to have a bit of variation.

"Hopefully over the next couple of weeks we can put in some good performances against Brive. Then we are back into the PRO14 and hopefully we can pick up some wins."

Cannon has played 27 times for Connacht since his arrival as injury cover from Wasps in September 2016.

The Kettering native has had to battle it out with Ultan Dillane and Quinn Roux for a starting spot, but he is enjoying his time in Galway.

"I've been here just over a year now so I am well settled in," said Cannon.

"It's a very competitive position in the club. I have been lucky to play a bit this year which is great."


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