Quinn Roux set to miss out on Connacht’s Sale showdown

Westerners to tackle European quarter-final without Ireland lock but Aki is good to go

Ireland lock Quinn Roux is not expected to feature for Connacht on Friday after a heavy Six Nations campaign. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Ireland lock Quinn Roux is not expected to feature for Connacht on Friday after a heavy Six Nations campaign. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

 

The stakes are getting higher for Connacht as they head into Friday evening’s European quarter-final, and coach Andy Friend insists his side will continue to push the boundaries.

On the back of a bruising win against Benetton last week, which has ensured Connacht remain in the hunt for the PRO14 play-off stages, Andy Friend’s side now face Sale for the third time this season looking to keep their Challenge Cup campaign alive.

Each side enjoyed a home win in the group stages, but the Connacht coach says his squad has changed since that 34-13 pool defeat in October.

“I went back and watched the vision of the Sale game over there and it looks like the same bodies, but a different style of football we are playing,” he said.

“We are a lot more confident in what we are doing, more accuracy in what we are doing, our line speed is better, our accuracy in the collisions in both attack and defence is a lot better. We have definitely grown as group and we will continue to grow as a group.”

“More unlikely than likely”

Ireland lock Quinn Roux is not expected to feature after a heavy Six Nations campaign – “more unlikely than likely, unfortunately”, Friend says, but Bundee Aki is “looking good and ready to go”. Also unlikely to start are fullback Tiernan O’Halloran and captain Jarrad Butler who both took bangs in last weekend’s Benetton clash.

Having made few changes to this matchday squad in the recent weeks, Friend says it now time to mix it up again.

“We are very conscious that if we keep winning, which is our intention, we have another nine games left, and you can’t keep rolling out the same players for the next nine games of football.

“I think there is also a bit of recognition and reward for some players who have done well, and if we are going to be here for the next nine weeks, we have to keep people engaged too.”

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.