Wednesday 21 February 2018

Connacht coach Keane aims to edge ex-boss

Connacht head coach Kieran Keane Photo: Sportsfile
Connacht head coach Kieran Keane Photo: Sportsfile
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

When the Guinness PRO14 fixtures were first released a wry smile came across Kieran Keane's face. Somewhere over in Glasgow, Dave Rennie would have had the same reaction.

Having gone for the same Chiefs job, it was Rennie who edged Keane but the pair nevertheless ended up working together with the Super Rugby club.

Keane has barely gotten his feet under the table at Connacht but Rennie has had even less time to work with his new Glasgow players.

"I wasn't all that happy about that (playing Glasgow first) but no doubt he's feeling that as well," Keane said.

"There has been a lot of banter between us. I just noted the other day when he arrived on the ground so I've got about four or five days ahead. I'm hoping that's helpful.

"There will be no love lost but a lot of mutual respect between the two of us. No love lost, I'm talking about the players on the field."

Connacht have made a very shrewd signing in bringing Keane in, but Glasgow supporters will certainly feel the same way about Rennie.

Watching how two coaches who know each other inside out go about dismantling their opposite number's game-plan is a fascinating sub-plot to a rivalry that has been simmering nicely in recent seasons.

Keane, however, would love nothing more than to get Connacht's season up and running by getting one over on his former boss.

Verdict: Connacht

Connacht - D Leader; C Kelleher, E Griffin, B Aki, M Healy; J Carty, K Marmion; D Buckley, T McCartney, F Bealham; U Dillane, J Cannon; E Masterson, J Butler, J Muldoon. Reps: S Dalahunt, P McCabe, C Carey, S O'Brien, E McKeon, C McKeon, C Ronaldson, T Farrell.
Glasgow Warriors - R Jackson; L Masaga, A Dunbar, S Johnson, L Jones; P Horne, A Price; J Bhatti, G Turner, Z Fagerson; T Swinson, S Cummings; R Wilson (capt), M Smith, A Ashe. Reps: J Malcolm, O Kebble, A Nicol, G Peterson, M Fagerson, H Pyrgos, A Hastings, L Sarto.
REF: B Whitehouse (WRU)

Connacht v Glasgow Warriors, Live, TG4, 7.35

Irish Independent

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