Sunday 22 September 2019

Wilkins: Recruitment is still on course

Rugby agent Matt Hart has been given a 22-month ban by the RFU
Rugby agent Matt Hart has been given a 22-month ban by the RFU

Daragh Small

Connacht defence coach Pete Wilkins says Champions Cup rugby remains a massive goal but missing out next term will not hinder recruitment at the province.

Connacht were knocked out of the Challenge Cup quarter-finals after a 33-28 defeat at the hands of Gloucester at the Sportsground last Saturday.

However, Wilkins insists there is a plan in place to deal with all future outcomes as the coaching set-up look forward to 2018-19 with new signings arriving in Galway.

"The guys that have been announced are committed to the club. And we are committed to them," said Wilkins.

"Champions Cup rugby is something that of course we are aspiring to and something we are chasing really hard.

"But as an organisation our success, both as a pro team and as an organisation as a whole, doesn't hinge solely on that.

"It's a huge incentive and a huge motivation. But those guys are coming for the full package, and vice versa."

Connacht are second from bottom in Conference A of the PRO14 with just three games remaining as they aim for the seventh and final Champions Cup qualification spot.

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However, Wilkins says the players are disappointed with last week's defeat and know they are capable of much better against Ospreys at Liberty Stadium this evening and he is hoping they can get back to winning ways.

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