Andy Friend

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Connacht head coach Andy Friend: ‘We have the talent to improve, so it’s 100 per cent a mental thing.’ Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Connacht Rugby has set its seasonal goal as a top-two finish in its Guinness Pro14 Conference, which coach Andy Friend says will require a 90 per cent(...)

Connacht’s Abraham Papali’i is shown a red card by referee Frank Murphy. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Munster 49 Connacht 12 Far from the madding crowd the empty Aviva still produced some serious acts of craziness. Three yellow and two red cards in th(...)

The high quality match that Munster and Leinster produced last week was the product of a much deeper motivation than fans cheering. Photograph: Inpho

Empty rugby stadiums are cold and melancholic structures. Without people, arenas such as Eden Park, Twickenham, Ellis Park and Lansdowne Road are(...)

Tadhg Beirne returns from injury to partner Fineen Wycherley in the Munster  secondrow for the game against Connacht on Sunday. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Munster v Connacht, Aviva stadium, Sunday, 3.0 – Live on Eir Sport, deferred coverage on TG4 Munster will require a couple of points from Sunday’s ga(...)

Munster’s Peter O’Mahony wins a lineout ball in their Guinness Pro14 match against Leinster at  Aviva Stadium on Saturday. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Relying on bare statistics to inform any post-match analysis generally doesn’t convey the full picture and can, at times, be slightly misleading or la(...)

Quinn Roux is set to return to the Connacht fold against Munster this weekend. Photograph: Connacht/Inpho

Connacht coach Andy Friend is sticking to his plan to name a different starting XV for Sunday’s Pro14 fixture against Munster at the Aviva Stadium. A(...)

Leinster’s Garry Ringrose looks to offload as he is tackled by Andrew Conway. Photograph: Inpho

Got the email last Wednesday. Filled in the form. Next came my time to arrive on Saturday for a temperature check. All the precautions you would expec(...)

Connacht head coach Andy Friend watches his team beat Ulster at an empty Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Inpho

With advertising hoarding for watering hole Murty Rabbits and The Connacht Hotel chasing around the perimeter of the pitch, you could have mistaken t(...)

Connacht and Ireland centre Bundee Aki has bulked up ahead of the restart. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

The old interpros are relevant again. As Leinster and Munster serve up the first delicacy in what seems like forever, it is important to lower expecta(...)

Ulster head coach Dan McFarland says his side are taking nothing for granted against Connacht as they look to qualify for the Pro 14 semi-finals. Photograph:   Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Connacht v Ulster, Aviva Stadium, Sunday, 4.30pm – Live on TG4 and Eir Sport The clock has finally ticked down to this weekend’s return of Pro14 rugb(...)

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