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Champions Cup secured, it would be easy for Connacht Rugby to drift towards the end of the season, knowing their primary aim is secured.
Connacht's impressive development this season will be put to the test on Saturday (3pm) when play-off rivals Cardiff hit the Sportsground for the penultimate PRO14 conference fixture.
Connacht's minds are now concentrated solely on Guinness PRO14 action, and the first of the final trio of conference games sees Andy Friend's side travel to Italy to take on Michael Bradley's Zebre on Saturday (6.30pm Irish time).
After Connacht's important victory over Perpignan last Saturday, coach Andy Friend instructed his players to savour the moment because next up was a massive challenge against the champions of Europe and the PRO14 title holders.
Connacht's European hopes are on the line tomorrow evening in France (7pm) when they face a Perpignan outfit desperate to get a first win of the season.
Andy Friend, after this first 10 weeks as the new Connacht coach, believes his squad is capable of being a Champions Cup rugby team.
Connacht, having been forced to relinquished any remote hope of attaining a Champions Cup place, now must summon all their pride to face top-of-the-table Glasgow Warriors in Scotland tomorrow evening (7.35pm).
Connacht host their final European pool fixture against French visitors Oyonnax on Saturday determined to finish with a flourish and nail down a home quarter-final.
Connacht’s improving confidence and form will face a different test on New Year’s Day when they travel to the RDS and Leo Cullen’s Leinster(3.15pm).
Seasonal cheer hits the Sportsground this week ahead of the first of the festive interprovincial fixtures with Ulster on Saturday (7.35pm).