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Connacht Rugby is set to welcome some new supporters to the Sportsground this season.
Joe Schmidt, the new coach of Leinster rugby, showed this week he had not forgotten his midland connections as he brought the entire Leinster panel to Mullingar rugby club for a full and rigorous training session on bank holiday Monday.
Connacht Rugby open their season under new coach Eric Elwood next week with the first of two friendlies to be played at the Galway Sportsground.
Many a Kilkenny youngster dreams of being the next Brian O’Driscoll or Paul O’Connell, holding the Six Nations or Heineken Cup trophies aloft in victorious celebration.
Some six and a half years ago John Muldoon, a newcomer to professional rugby, received his first cap for Connacht against the Scottish Borders. Back then coach Michael Bradley told the 20-years-old that he was there because he was an “all right” rugby player - not because he was home-grown Connacht. Today the Portumna man is one of only two from the province on the Irish team, and he knows he’s there on merit - standing proudly and taller than his 6’3” frame alongside Lions players like Jamie Heaslip, David Wallace, Paul O’Connell.
Connacht Rugby faces renewed threats - not, this time, from headquarters, but from Government plans to broadcast major rugby matches free.
People can be in with a chance to win an Ireland rugby jersey and help a charity which works for the betterment of children trapped in the sex industry by taking part in the unique online raffle being run in Galway.
The city should be decked in Connacht flags and the Connacht Rugby colours of green and white, with the public, city businesses, and the Galway City Council doing all they can to support the team in the run up to their European cup match against Toulon.
Connacht are facing an injury crisis ahead of tomorrow evening’s Magners League clash against title-chasing Edinburgh at the Galway Sportsground (6pm).
Connacht branch CEO Gerry Kelly wants to see Connacht supporters marching down College Road to the Sportsground not to IRFU headquarters at Lansdowne Road.