Saturday 25 May 2019

Let's hope loss doesn't affect recruitment

Connacht captain John Muldoon. Photo: Sportsfile
Connacht captain John Muldoon. Photo: Sportsfile Sportsdesk

One of the biggest fears from missing out on Champions Cup rugby is the potential affect that might have on player recruitment for next season, writes Noel Mannion.

Connacht let a number of players go recently as head coach Kieran Keane looks to put his own stamp on the squad. But that could come back to bite if some of his big-name signings don't join now.

Connacht are in a bit of a hole and this is the first time it has happened since they won the PRO12 title in May 2016.

When you win silverware like that the standards rise. Success heightens expectations and puts more pressure on the players.

After the defeat to Gloucester Keane said to be patient and stick with it, and I remember Pat Lam saying something similar the year before he oversaw Connacht's league victory.

I also remember leaving the Sportsground one day with a group of friends and trying to figure out what the hell Lam had the players at, trying to play ball out of their own 22.

But it came to fruition eventually. You would hope Keane, Nigel Carolan and Jimmy Duffy have something similar planned for this batch of players.

It will be a tough ask but they need to end this season on a positive note, and hopefully some more big names arrive in the summer.

Irish Independent

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