23 Facts About Connacht Rugby


Connacht Rugby is one of the four professional provincial rugby teams from the island of Ireland.

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The Connacht Rugby crest is a modified version of the provincial flag of Connacht and consists of a dimidiated eagle and an arm wielding a sword.

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However, rugby union in Connacht has expanded, with increased ticket sales, in particular since its first season competing in the Heineken Cup.

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Connacht Rugby enjoyed their most significant success in 2016, when they defeated fellow Irish province Leinster in the 2016 Pro12 Grand Final to win the competition for the first time.

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Connacht Rugby won the tournament on three occasions, in 1956,1957 and 1965, although on each occasion the title was shared.

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On 26 August 1995 the International Connacht Rugby Board declared rugby union an "open" game, removing all restrictions on payments or benefits to those connected with the game.

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Connacht Rugby were coached that season by former All Black Warren Gatland, who had previously coached Galwegians.

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Connacht Rugby won five of their six matches including beating Northampton both at home and away.

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Nel's initial two seasons saw Connacht Rugby knocked out of the Challenge Cup during the group stages.

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Connacht Rugby reached the semi-finals of that year's European Challenge Cup, and came within touching distance of the decider, but a try from the Harlequins centre Will Greenwood, 12 minutes from time in the second leg of their semi-final, denied them a place in the final.

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Connacht Rugby finished above both of the Italian teams as well as Glasgow Warriors, coming in ninth place.

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Connacht Rugby lost their first five matches in the pool stages, claiming losing bonuses in both of their games with Gloucester.

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The seventh-place finish saw Connacht Rugby entered into a play-off involving Bordeaux Begles and Gloucester for a place in the next season's Champions Cup.

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Connacht Rugby's appointment was announced as his replacement in May 2018.

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Connacht Rugby has historically been designated as being the weakest in the country compared to its fellow provinces.

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Connacht Rugby were represented on this council by a sub-selector, without the power to vote on the final squad.

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In spite of the increased production line of native talent, Connacht Rugby continues to rely on its traditional policy of bringing in players from outside its jurisdiction that have failed to progress to their senior provincial team to help make up its playing numbers.

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Connacht Rugby has tended to give opportunities to foreign-born players who qualify for Ireland through heritage.

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Connacht Rugby has in the past lost players it recruited and helped to develop to provincial rivals and foreign teams.

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For example, Connacht Rugby lost four important first team players to provincial rivals in 2011.

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Connacht Rugby finished six points behind Ulster in the final standings that year, missing out again.

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On 9 June 2022 Connacht Rugby announced that first phase of redevelopment had commenced with full excavation of the pitch at the Sportsground underway, to allow a new artificial playing surface for the coming season.

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Dimidiated eagle and sword arm featured in the Connacht Rugby crest is taken from the flag of the Province of Connacht.

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