Connacht Rugby have announced an extended squad ahead of this Saturday’s RaboDirect PRO12 match against the Scarlets.
The squad remains largely unchanged from last weekend when Connacht beat Benetton Treviso in the opening round of the league. Props Brett Wilkinson and Stuart Maguire both make their return from injury to be included in the 26 man training squad as Eric Elwood puts the finishing touches to his side ahead of Connacht Rugby’s first game in the newly redeveloped Sportsground this Saturday.
Prop Brett Wilkinson was heavily involved with Ireland’s World Cup training squad before suffering a grade 3 tear in his hamstring during preseason training.
Speaking about his recovery Brett said:
“I knew it was serious as soon as it happened but it took a while to fully realise the damage that was done and that I’d ruled myself out of a chance to go to the World Cup. I was gutted, especially watching the warmup games when I knew that was my chance make the squad.
It’s been a long hard slog to get back up to full fitness. In the gym at 7.30am every morning doing rehab and working with the physios to build up the muscles around the hamstring and regain the strength in the leg but it’s been worth it, the recovery has gone really well and I’ve been back training for the last 3 weeks. I feel the time is right for me to make my comeback it’s great to be able to put your hand up for selection and stake a claim for a spot on the team.
It’s an incredibly exciting time to be involved with Connacht, there’s huge changes going. There are new players in the squad, new stands in the stadium, increase in season ticket sales, the Heineken Cup, it really is an exciting time for everyone involved.
The first home game is always a big match and the Scarlets will be no exception. It’s always a tough physical game against them and we expect nothing less this weekend. I was involved in both matches against the Scarlets last year, when we beat them here in the Sportsground and lost to an injury time try in Parc Y Scarlets and everyone’s looking forward to the match this weekend in front of the home crowd.”
Extended Connacht squad to face the Scarlets – Saturday 10th September, The Sportsground, Galway ko 15.15
Rodney Ah You, TJ Anderson, Denis Buckley, Adrian Flavin, Ronan Loughney, Stewart Maguire, Mike McCarthy, John Muldoon, George Naoupu, Johnny O’Connor, Ray Ofisa, Dylan Rogers, Ethienne Reynecke, Michael Swift, Brett Wilkinson
Gavin Duffy, Henry Fa’afili, Eoin Griffin, Matthew Jarvis, James Loxton, Mark McCrea, Frank Murphy, Niall O’Connor, Paul O’Donohoe, Tiernan O’Halloran, Brian Tuohy
Tickets for the game are still available from www.ticketmaster.ie or by logging onto www.connachtrugby.ie