Pat Lam planning to rotate his Connacht squad for visit to Exeter
Coach wants a fit team for the return to Pro 12 action against the Ospreys
Connacht coach Pat Lam: “We cannot afford to be carrying niggles going into Ospreys, which is our bread and butter.” Photo: James Crombie/Inpho
“The next priority is making sure we manage the squad because we cannot afford to be carrying niggles going into Ospreys, which is our bread and butter,” Lam says.
Given that the Challenge Cup has been devalued with the winner not being rewarded with a Champions Cup place, it is no surprise Lam is planning to rotate his squad over the next two weeks. And although there were no fresh injuries, he is giving priority to the Guinness Pro 12 over next Saturday’s European joust with top seeds Exeter, who surprisingly lost to Bayonne.
“With just a six-day turnaround, we will see changes this week on the back of getting that performance [against La Rochelle].
“Our priority was to get the home win and the bonus point, which was ticked off. We were determined to have our strongest squad out there. The elements were not friendly, but we wanted to put on a good performance for our fans who have been fantastic, because we also set this as a big marker to protect our home ground for ourselves and the Connacht family.”
Connacht travel to Exeter for Saturday’s second fixture leading Pool 2. Veteran Michael Swift has been passed fit after suffering a leg injury and becomes available for this weekend. New signing Bundi Aki, the former Waikato Chief centre, may be available for the Osprey’s fixture.