Saturday 18 January 2020

Connacht skipper Muldoon harbours European ambitions

Connacht captain John Muldoon is setting his side a target of recording more victories over the home provinces this season. Photo: Ray Ryan / SPORTSFILE
Connacht captain John Muldoon is setting his side a target of recording more victories over the home provinces this season. Photo: Ray Ryan / SPORTSFILE

Declan Rooney

New Connacht Rugby captain John Muldoon says closing the gap on their provincial rivals is one of his side’s main goals for the coming season.

Muldoon (31) was yesterday  named as skipper for the second time in his 10-year professional career with his home province, but he immediately ratcheted up the expectation on his team-mates and called for them to consistently turn over the home provinces as a way to get into the Champions Cup.

“We’ve generally always got one or two (victories) a year but we’ve never done it back-to-back where we beat them consistently. That is a bit of a target for us, to try and beat all the teams at least once. If we do that we’ll be on the right track.”

For the first time in three seasons Connacht will not compete with the elite of Europe and must make do with a campaign in the European Rugby Challenge Cup but the captain says it’s within their capacity to get back in with the top teams.

“For us to get into the Champions Cup we have got to get into the top half of the league. That means we can’t have bad days and we can’t be conceding lots of points to any team.

“It’s going to be tough, but at the same time you have to have a goal and the goal is to be there and be playing in the best competition in Europe. We’ve got to strive to get there,” he said.

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