Connacht without big-name players for Treviso Pro12 encounter

Province boosted by return of quartet to compensate for trio of missing Ireland internationals

Connacht forwards coach Jimmy Duffy: “We have discussed Treviso at length.They are always a really tough opposition for us. Photograph: Inpho

Connacht forwards coach Jimmy Duffy: “We have discussed Treviso at length.They are always a really tough opposition for us. Photograph: Inpho

 

Connacht will once again be missing a handful of key personnel for Saturday’s must-win visit of Treviso to the Sortsground.

The recent international trio of Finlay Bealham, Ultan Dillane and Kieran Marmion will not be involved in this round 10 fixture; centre Craig Ronaldson is awaiting a scan results on his thigh injury from Connacht’s win over Cardiff last weekend; and right wing Niyi Adeleokun is also being rested.

However, forwards coach Jimmy Duffy says the quartet of recent returnees, Tom McCartney, Denis Buckley, Nepia Fox Matamua and John Cooney, are all fit, while Matt Healy is also in line for a return after two months sidelined with a hand injury.

Despite the absence of the international three this weekend, Duffy says their return to the Sportsground from the successful national team has given the players a real boost ahead of Treviso’s visit.

“For us, you see the buzz around the group here when the boys come back in. People realise that goal is tangible if they work hard and smart towards it. They add something different, and it’s nice to have them back around the place again after a successful autumn.”

Defeats to Treviso

Pat Lam

“We have discussed Treviso at length.They are always a really tough opposition for us. We had a tough day at the office up front over there last year, and that is something we haven’t forgotten. We are definitely not taking this lightly.

“We are getting better – confident and happy with the base we have laid down now – and it’s real important we can build on that going forward.”

Meanwhile Connacht’s latest recruit, Fiji international backrow Nualia Dawai, arrived in Galway on Monday, and took part in his first training yesterday. Duffy says his integration into the squad is expected to take a couple of weeks.

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