Pat Lam says it’s “fantastic” to have five of our Connacht men named in the Ireland squad for November. “Their inclusion is thoroughly deserved and we’re all very proud of them. When you consider this time last year we only had one player in the camp with Robbie [Henshaw] and now we have five, it is a huge testament to the playersm, their teammates, the backroom staff, and what we’re all trying to do here at Connacht Rugby.
Lam says one of the pleasing aspects is the inclusion of Darragh Leader who is following in the footsteps of local guys like Eric Elwood.
“From Galway, he has played all his rugby at grassroots level here, gone on to play for his province, and now could play for Ireland. This is part of the vision of Connacht Rugby. We are all very passionate about young players in our community having a pathway in Connacht to play for Ireland and this is driven massively by our CEO Willie Ruane.
“We’ve always said there is nothing better than game time when it comes to players’ development. These players have had the chance at Connacht to test themselves at the top level week in week out and it’s proved invaluable in terms of getting their opportunity at a young age. I truly believe that there is more international recognition to come for Connacht players and that is part of our own vision.”