Sportsground

  • Connacht coach Andy Friend has made two changes for tomorrow's crucial Guinness Pro14 clash with Cardiff at the Sportsground.

    Ireland international Bundee Aki returns to replace Peter Robb in the centre while Paul Boyle comes in for Eoin McKeon at openside flanker.

    Victory for the western province would secure their place in the Heineken Champions Cup next season and Boyle says they're getting used to high pressure matches.

  • Connacht have confirmed they've been granted full planning permission for their re-development of the Sportsground.

    The 30-million Euro upgrade will bring the stadium capacity up to 12-thousand and the works will also include a high-performance centre and greyhound track.

  • Head Coach Andy Friend has made three changes to the Connacht starting team for the visit of Benetton to the Sportsground tomorrow evening Saturday at 7:35pm.
     
    Darragh Leader, Peter Robb and Paul Boyle all come into the side as Connacht hope to bounce back from a defeat away to Scarlets on the opening day of the season.
     
    Leader’s inclusion on the wing sees him come into a back three with Matt Healy on the opposite wing and Tiernan O’Halloran at full back, while Robb will form a midfield partnership with Kyle Godwin.
     
    Conor Fitzgerald and Caolin Blade will continue their half-back partnership with Kieran Marmion named among the replacements.
     
    Paul Boyle at number 8 is the only change among the forwards with Captain Jarrad Butler named at openside and Eoghan Masterson at blindside. Masterson’s brother Sean is named among the replacements, with the 21 year old Academy player set for his senior debut having impressed for the Connacht Eagles in their five wins so far in the Celtic Cup.
     
    The front five remains unchanged with Paddy McAllister retained after his debut against Scarlets in a front row that includes hooker Tom McCartney and Finlay Bealham at tighthead. The side is completed with locks Gavin Thornbury and Quinn Roux.

  • There were wins last night in the PRO 14 for both Connacht and Leinster.

    Two tries from John Porch either side of half-time saw Andy Friend's Connacht pick up a bonus point at the Sportsground.

    Bundee Aki also went over the line, just a day after committing his future to the province.

    And Finlay Bealham got his name on the score sheet too in the 24-12 win that secured them the maximum five points and sends them second in Conference B.

  • Last night Connacht got the better of Ulster at The Sportsground by 21 points to 12

    The westerners were on top throughout but missed out on a bonus point

    The win gave them a first ever seasonal double over Ulster.

  • Connacht Rugby has announced a 30 million Euro redevelopement plan for the Sportsground in Galway.

    The development will include a new stadium with a 12,000 spectator capacity, a new high-performance centre and will maintain the existing greyhound racing track.

    The arrangement with their co-tenants Irish Greyhound Board will ensure that rugby fixtures and greyhound racing events will continue at the venue

  • Connacht Rugby has launched an official 2020 Calendar with all proceeds go directly to the grassroots game.

    The calendar brings to life many aspects of Connacht Rugby, featuring a mixture of striking and fun images ranging from Connacht Rugby Summer Camps to the Connacht Women’s Players, as well including several familiar favourites from the Connacht Rugby Professional Team. All photography included is taken by Connacht Rugby’s official partners INPHO Photography.

    The official Connacht Rugby calendar will make the ideal stocking filler for all Connacht fans. It is the perfect Connacht Supporters gift.

    The calendar is priced at just €10 and will be available to purchase at various points in The Sportsground on Saturday 21st of December during the Connacht v Munster game.

    Speaking at the launch of the Official Connacht Rugby 2020 Calendar, Joe Gorham, Head of Domestic Rugby at Connacht Rugby said ‘The funds raised from this initiative will give a huge boost to our young underage teams at a Grassroots level in Connacht.

  • Connacht rugby grounded out a three point win in the pool stages of the Champions Cup yesterday.

     

    22-year-old fly-half Conor Fitzgerald came off the bench yesterday to kick the winning penalty as Connacht beat Montpellier, in the midst of an injury crisis.

     

    23-20 was the final score at the Sportsground as the westerners secured a clean sweep for the Irish sides in the opening weekend of the tournament.

  • Connacht Rugby have announced a 30 million Euro redevelopment plan for the Sportsground

    The development will include a new stadium with a 12,000 spectator capacity, a new high-performance centre and will maintain the existing greyhound racing track.

    The arrangement with their co-tenants Irish Greyhound Board will ensure that rugby fixtures and greyhound racing events will continue at the venue.

    The CEO of Connacht Rugby, Ballina native Willie Ruane today's announcement is the culmination of around three years assessment and planning.

    Fine Gael TD for Galway West, Hildegarde Naughton says that the new plans will result in both sporting and economic benefits to Galway and the broader region, with Connacht Rugby already estimated to be worth €34.4 million to the regional economy.

  • Connacht have formally submitted a planning application to Galway City Council for the redevelopment of the Sportsground.

    The Western Province say they have received widespread support from the public and elected representatives, since unveiling their plans in October.

    The 30 million euro project will provide a stadium that can accommodate 12 thousand spectators and a new high performance training centre.

     

     

  • Full back Tiernan O'Halloran has returned from a leg injury to take his place in the Connacht side to face Sale Sharks in the European Challenge Cup in the Sportsground on Saturday (Kick off 3pm). The injury ruled O'Halloran out of all three of Connacht's interpro fixtures over the Christmas period.

     He comes into a back line that also includes a new midfield pairing with Bundee Aki and Kyle Godwin both coming back into the starting team.

     Following his contract extension earlier this week, Jack Carty continues at out half where he is partnered by former Sale Sharks player James Mitchell.

     In the front row Denis Buckley is named at loosehead having recovered from illness that ruled him out of the clash with Munster. Buckley will make his 150th appearance for his province against the Premiership side following his late withdrawal last week.

     There is also a new second row partnership with Ultan Dillane and James Cannon coming into the side, while in the back row Captain Jarrad Butler returns from injury and is named at number 8 alongside James Connolly and Eoghan Masterson.

      Kick-off 3pm:

    (15-9) Tiernan O'Halloran, Cian Kelleher, Kyle Godwin, Bundee Aki, Matt Healy, Jack Carty, James Mitchell, (1-8) Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney, Finlay Bealham, Ultan Dillane, James Cannon, Eoghan Masterson, James Connolly, Jarrad Butler (Capt).

    Replacements (16-23): Shane Delahunt, Matthew Burke, Conor Carey, Quinn Roux, Colby Fainga'a, Caolin Blade, David Horwitz, Darragh Leader.

     

  • Connacht will add extra terracing to the Sportsground for the Pro14 clash with Leinster after fans snapped up tickets for Saturday night's provincial derby.

    Andy Friend's men powered past the Scarlets in Galway at the weekend, producing they type of free-flowing, expansive game they so defined during the Pat Lam era. 

    It left Connacht with two wins from their first four games and teed the Westerners up for a humdinger with Leo Cullen's reigning champions.

    Additional temporary terracing will be installed at both the Bohermore and College Road ends of the ground, which will potentially boost the attendance to over 8,000.

    Kick-off at the Sportsground on Saturday is at 5.15pm.

  • Connacht have announced the installation of temporary terracing for next month's Challenge Cup quarter final with Gloucester.

    The move is to facilitate the high demand for tickets for the game.

    The terracing will be installed at the College Road and Bohermore ends of the ground. 

  • New Connacht coach Andy Friend has selected back-row Jarrad Butler as his captain for the coming season.

    Butler made 19 appearances for the Westerners in his debut season at the Sportsground.

    The 27-year-old will qualify to play for Ireland in 2020.

     

  • Government has allocated Connacht Rugby €10 million in funding under the Large-Scale Sports Infrastructure Fund.

    The funding will provide for a third of the Sportsground redevelopment fund which is projected in the region of €30m and will have a capacity of 12,000 spectators.

    It is intended that the development will be funded through a combination of public funds, most notably this Large Scale Sports Infrastructure Fund, and private funding.

    The redevelopment will deliver a modern rugby stadium to the Western province, in addition to a new high-performance training centre for Connacht Rugby, while also retaining existing greyhound racing facilities.

    The redevelopment was made possible following an arrangement reached between the Irish Greyhound Board and the freehold owners of the Sportsground, the Galway Agricultural and Sports Society, with respect to a shared vision for the future of the Sportsground.

    The arrangement with the Irish Greyhound Board will ensure that rugby fixtures and greyhound racing events will continue to be staged at the venue.

    The multi-use facility will also be made available for the hosting of other sporting fixtures and events where such demand arises.

    The strategic benefits of the project to the entire region are also closely aligned with the Government’s National Planning Framework, Project Ireland 2040 as well as the National Sports Policy, all of which highlight the need for a regional spread of capital investment throughout the country.

    Fine Gael TD for Galway West Hildegarde Naughton welcomed the announcement of funds saying that 'Connacht Rugby employs 130 people itself, making it a sizeable employer. But the economic spin-off is huge, and the team’s future success on the field will be shared by businesses and individuals throughout the area,'

    She continued to say that 'Today’s announcement that the redevelopment of the Sportsground can proceed is a key part of that future success, making this an extremely exciting time for us fans and other potential beneficiaries in the region.”

    The announcement of the Government funding follows a rigorous process to identify the optimum location, composition and design of the proposed stadium, along with a detailed independent cost-benefit analysis.