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As September approaches, Connacht are busy in preparation for a season of change for European club rugby.
After three seasons of Heineken Cup rugby, Connacht return to the Challenge Cup next season where they will face new opposition in two French and an English outfit. Drawn in pool two and ranked in tier four of eight, Connacht will face English outfit Exeter Chiefs, ranked in tier one.
After a run of three successive wins, Connacht head to Newport looking for a vital victory in their hopes of finishing in position to claim a Heineken Cup spot for the first time.
It is uncharted waters for Connacht this weekend when they head to England with a place in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals up for grabs. This final pool three fixture at the home of current premiership leaders on Saturday (1.35pm) will decide which of the two teams finishes as runners-up and with it a spot in either the Heineken quarter-finals or the Amlin Cup. Toulouse, with an away fixture to Zebre, are almost guaranteed top spot, but it is all to play for at Allianz Park where favourites Saracens are 5/1 to reach the final of this most prestigious club competition.
The much-anticipated 2013/14 Heineken Cup commences tomorrow and once again Connacht Rugby will face some of Europe’s elite clubs, starting with Saracens at the Galway Sporstground (8pm).
Connacht’s third foray into Heineken Cup Rugby will see French giants Toulouse return to the Galway Sportsground next season. Connacht have been drawn in pool three with Toulouse, English premiership side Saracens, and also familiar RaboDirect Pro 12 opponents, Italian side Zebre. With the three fellow Irish clubs all in tier one, Connacht were poised to draw Clermont, champions Toulon, or Toulouse. In steering clear of Clermont in pool 4, they also avoided meeting Conor O’Shea’s Harlequins again, but for a second successive year they will face Zebre.
Connacht’s third foray into Heineken Cup Rugby will see French giants Toulouse return to the Galway Sportsground next season.
Connacht complete their second Heineken Cup campaign this evening (8pm) at the Galway Sportsground intent on keeping their unbeaten record against Zebre intact, and finishing the pool on a high.
Connacht complete their second Heineken Cup campaign tomorrow evening (8pm) at the Galway Sportsground intent on keeping their unbeaten record against Zebre intact, and finishing the pool on a high.
The traditional festive interprovincial series begins on Saturday with Connacht hosting Munster at the Galway Sportsground on Saturday (5.15pm), followed by a visit to Leinster next week.