Pat Lam bolsters Connacht pack ahead of Toulouse visit

Connacht determined not to let standards slip after win in France last weekend

Connacht’s Robbie Henshaw and head coach Pat Lam share a joke during the week. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Connacht’s Robbie Henshaw and head coach Pat Lam share a joke during the week. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

 

Pat Lam is hopeful that his players will be back firing on all cylinders tomorrow evening (6pm) as they welcome a Toulouse side hell bent on revenge to the Sportsground.

A dozen of Connacht’s players came down with flu during the week – forcing the Connacht coach to abandon training yesterday – but Lam believes his squad is now on the mend and capable of following up last Sunday’s famous win over the French giants.

Lam has made three changes to his starting line-up, bringing in Jason Harris-Wright, Rodney Ah You come and Eoin McKeon to bolster a pack battered and bruised in France last weekend.

“Our week was certainly disrupted with an outbreak of the flu affecting twelve of our squad members,” Lam said today. “We had to curtail the session yesterday and were restricted in what we could do. But these things are out of control and thankfully a lot of the guys are feeling better today after some rest.

“We’ve made some changes to the pack after what was a hugely physical game last week. Unfortunately we lost Michael Swift to injury but we have the experience of Andrew (Browne) returning to the match squad this week.

“Last weekend’s game was the biggest challenge we faced as a team, and we overcame that, but now we’re up against another massive challenge. We’re playing a vengeful Toulouse who will come here determined to turn around last week’s defeat.

“Like everyone we want the win, but as with every game our focus is on the process of winning the game. It’s going to be an fantastic atmosphere with the Sportsground sold out and I know that will only add to the occasion and drive the team on.”

Connacht: Robbie Henshaw; Fionn Carr, Eoin Griffin, Dave McSharry, Matt Healy; Dan Parks, Kieran Marmion; Brett Wilkinson, Jason Harris-Wright, Rodney Ah You; Mick Kearney, Craig Clarke; John Muldoon, Jake Heenan, Eoin McKeon. Replacements: Sean Henry, Denis Buckley, Nathan White, Andrew Browne, George Naoupu, Frank Murphy, Craig Ronaldson, Gavin Duffy.

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