Muldoon has silverware in his sights

Connacht captain John Muldoon still has his sights set firmly on the main prize ahead of tomorrow evening's quarter-final meeting with Gloucester in Kingsholm.

Although facing the Challenge Cup favourites and No 1 seeds, Muldoon believes Connacht are in a much better place than they have ever been at the knock-out stages Europe.

"It's not too often you sit here coming into the month of April when you are in the top six of the league and in a quarter-final with a potential home semi-final. It is exciting times for us," he says.

"We want to do well in this competition. From the outset our goal was to qualify and when you are in a quarter-final and you get a sniff of silverware, you don't want to give it up easily.

" We have a tough draw against the form team, but at the same time the prize is a home semi-final, and then a final in London. We have nothing to fear. It's a knock out competition we all love, anything can happen."

Muldoon remains wary of Gloucester's talent if Connacht are not up to speed.

"We are travelling to a stronghold of English rugby over the last couple of years, and while their form has been somewhat up and down, they have a big pack and a devastating back three with pace. They are very dangerous players, if you give them an inch, they will literally take a mile, but at the same time they are beatable."

While the Challenge Cup has more often than not brought out the best in Connacht, the ultimate prize has always eluded them.

"We have had some good battles over the years in the Challenge Cup. Toulon springs to mind as it was probably the last one and the best chance we got, and there have been a couple of near misses, but when you look at the other teams, the dynamics of the draw, and you look at what we can do, this is probably the most confident we have been going into a quarter final."

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