|Ground(s)||Galway Sportsgrounds (Capacity: 7,500 (9,500 including temporary seating))|
Connacht Rugby (Irish: Rugbaí Connachta) is one of the four professional provincial rugby teams from Ireland. Connacht competes in the Pro 12 and the Heineken Cup. The team represents the IRFU Connacht Branch, which is one of four primary branches of the IRFU, and is responsible for rugby union throughout the geographical Irish province of Connacht.
Connacht plays its home games at the Galway Sportsgrounds, which normally holds 7,500 spectators, though is expandable to 9,500 for important games. Connacht play in a predominantly green and black jersey, black shorts and green and black socks. 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.
With only 7% of the total number of Irish rugby union players, Connacht has a much smaller base of rugby union players to choose from than the other three provinces, due in part to its small population and the relative popularity of Gaelic Athletic Association sports such as hurling and Gaelic football. However, rugby union in Connacht has expanded, with increased ticket sales, in particular since its first season competing in the Heineken Cup. Through the work of the Connacht Branch and the support of the IRFU, the province has experienced growth, increasing its underage and schools participation through initiatives such as the 'Grassroots to Greenshirts' campaign. Beginning in 2012–13, the Connacht Eagles, a developmental side, feature in the semi-professional British and Irish Cup.
- 1 History
- 2 Development Team Status
- 3 Galway Sportsground
- 4 Connacht Eagles
- 5 Crest & Colours
- 6 Current standings
- 7 Provincial Honours
- 8 Season records
- 9 Current squad
- 10 Notable players
- 11 Head Coaches in Professional Era
- 12 Representative Clubs
- 13 Club & Schools Competitions
- 14 See also
- 15 References
- 16 External links
- 17 Sources
The Connacht Branch of the IRFU was founded on 8 December 1885, and along with it the provincial team. The team was formed to compete with Leinster, Munster and Ulster, whose teams had been formed ten years earlier in 1875. There were six teams represented at the meeting in Dublin that founded the Connacht branch. These were Ballinasloe, Castlebar, Galway Town, Galway Grammar School, Queen's College Galway and Ranelagh School Athlone. Castlebar, Queen's College (later NUIG) and Ballinasloe, who formed part of Buccaneers, are the only three of those six to have stayed active in some form since the branch was founded. The province is currently made up of 4 All-Ireland League clubs, 20 'junior' clubs and 4 'mini' rugby clubs. During the amateur era, the four Irish provinces played against each other in the Irish Interprovincial Championship, and also played against touring international sides.
Early professional years
On 26 August 1995 the International Rugby Board declared rugby union an "open" game, removing all restrictions on payments or benefits to those connected with the game. this was done due to a committee conclusion having an open game was the only way to end the hypocrisy of shamateurism, and keep control of the sport. The threat to amateur rugby union mostly prevalent in the Southern hemisphere, particularly in Australia where Super League was threatening to entice players to rugby league with large salaries. In Ireland, the four provincial teams were the only teams to go professional, while their smaller constituent clubs remained amateur.
The 1995-96 season saw the first ever Heineken Cup, a new tournament set up for European clubs. The Irish were allocated three places in the competition, with these places going to Leinster, Munster and Ulster. The following season saw the launch of a secondary European competition, the European Challenge Cup. Connacht were coached that season by former Galwegians coach and former All Black, Warren Gatland. The inaugural Challenge Cup (then also known as the European Shield), saw Connacht finish 4th from 6 teams in their group, which also contained Toulon and the Northampton Saints.
The 1997-98 European Challenge Cup proved far more successful for Connacht. The team, still coached by Gatland, finished top of their group, the number of teams in each group having been reduced to 4. Connacht won 5 of their 6 matches including beating Northampton both at home and away. The win in Northampton and victory over Bordeaux-Bègles in Stade André Moga made Connacht the first professional Irish team to beat an English team in England and a French team in France respectively. In the quarter-final they played SU Agen away in the Stade Armandie, but lost 40-27. Gatland left his position as Connacht coach at the end of the season, taking over as Ireland coach.
Another New Zealander, Glenn Ross, took over from Gatland. In his two seasons, Connacht failed to make it out of the pool stages of the Challenge Cup, and Ross retired at the end of the 1999-2000 season. He was replaced by South African coach Steph Nel. His first two seasons also Connacht knocked out of the Challenge Cup at the group stages but domestically, 2001 saw the formation a new competition called the Celtic League, which was created to serve as a league for Irish, Scottish and Welsh clubs.
Connacht made it to the quarter-finals in the inaugural Celtic League. They were beaten by Scotland's Glasgow Warriors, with a final score of 29-34. In the 2002-03 season the team again reached the quarters. This time, however, they were beaten by a much greater margin, losing to Irish rivals Munster by a score of 33-3. Meanwhile in the 2002-03 European Challenge Cup, they reached the quarter-finals, being knocked out by a margin of 8 points over two legs, against Welsh team Pontypridd.
Off the field however, the province's future was under threat. The IRFU proposed shutting down Connacht Rugby as a professional team in 2003 to cut costs, in light of the IRFU's annual deficit of €4 million. This was averted when a public protest with 2,000 fans marching on the IRFU headquarters in Dublin, coupled with the possibility of a strike by the Irish Rugby Union Players Association, forced the IRFU to reverse course and maintain the team.
2003-2010: Michael Bradley era
Michael Bradley took charge of Connacht in 2003, coming in from the Irish under-age set up to replace Steph Nel. In Bradley's first Celtic League season, Connacht finished ninth from 12 teams, ahead of only the Scottish sides, but 2003–04 was the most successful season in European competition in the province's history. Connacht reached the semifinals of that year's European Challenge Cup, and came within touching distance of the final, 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. Connacht also got to the semi-final of the Celtic Cup. Despite this, Connacht fell further in the Celtic League the following season. With Andrew Farley as the new captain, the team finished one place from the bottom in 2004-05, in what was now an 11 team competition. Still, the team continued their European form in the 2004-05 European Challenge Cup, reaching the semi-finals a second season. Once again, they were knocked out over two legs by the eventual winners of the competition, this time Sale Sharks.
Connacht continued to struggle in the Celtic League in the following seasons, finishing in tenth place from 11 again, in both the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons. In these seasons, however their European form did not make up for the domestic performances. Connacht were knocked out in the quarter-finals of the 2005-06 Challenge Cup in a 23-3 defeat to Newcastle Falcons. In 2006-07, captained by John Fogarty, they failed to advance through the pool stages in 2006-07. These seasons, however, saw the beginning of a new dimension to Connacht's player recruitment, whereby the province would bring Irish players back from abroad, to compete for Irish selection. Examples include the transfers of Gavin Duffy from Harlequins, Johnny O'Connor from London Wasps and Frank Murphy from Leicester Tigers.
The 2007-08 Celtic League saw the competition reduced to 10 teams, following the exit of Border Reivers, and the season ended with Connacht, captained again by Andrew Farley, bottom of the table, having won only 5 of their 18 matches. They also finished third in their Challenge Cup pool, again being knocked out early. In the following season, John Muldoon was made captain. Connacht were able to fish second in their pool and advance to the quarter finals, but were beaten 42-13 by Northampton Saints. They failed to improve in the Celtic League, however, and saw themselves finish last again in 2008–09, this time 13 points from the next team up the table.
Bradley announced early in the 2009-10 season, that he intended to step down at the end of the year. His final season followed a similar pattern to his first two seasons as coach, with the team again finishing last in the League, though the gap was narrower than the previous year. As in Bradley's earlier seasons, however, Connacht were able to leave their poor form in the league when it came to playing in the Challenge Cup. They topped their pool comfortably, winning all six games with two try bonus points, and proceeded to the quarter-finals as top seeds. In the quarters, they faced French Top 14 side Bourjoin, beating them 23-20, with a late Miah Nikora drop goal. Connacht advanced to the semi-finals where, on 30 April 2010, they faced a Toulon team featuring the English fly-half Jonny Wilkinson. Toulon won 19-12 in Galway, with Wilkinson kicking 14 of the French club's points. This season also saw veteran forward Michael Swift break the record for number of Connacht appearances. Bradley's final competitive game in charge came in the Celtic League on 7 May 2010, with a 41-10 defeat to Ulster.
2010-2013: Eric Elwood as head coach
Bradley was succeeded as Connacht boss by former Connacht and Ireland fly-half, Eric Elwood. Elwood had served as an assistant to Bradley since 2005 and had also coached the Ireland U20s to a grand slam in 2007's Six Nations Under 20s Championship. His first season in charge saw two teams from Italy introduced to the Celtic League, Aironi and Benetton Treviso, which brought the number of teams back up to twelve. Connacht finished above both of the Italian teams as well as Glasgow Warriors, coming in ninth place. In the Challenge Cup, Connacht were knocked out in the pool stages, finishing second in their group behind the eventual winners of the tournament, Harlequins. During the course of the season, the loss of a number of key players, such as Sean Cronin and Ian Keatley, were announced, with the players signing to Connacht's provincial rivals for the start of the following season.
Heineken Cup Rugby
In 2011–12 Connacht made their first-ever Heineken Cup appearance, due to Leinster winning the 2011 Heineken Cup Final. By competition rules, introduced in the 2010-11 season, the winners of both the Heineken Cup, and the European Challenge Cup, would receive an automatic berth in the following year's Heineken Cup. This place would then be passed on to another team from that country if the tournament winner was already qualified by domestic performance. As Leinster had qualified through performance in the 2010-11 Celtic League, Connacht claimed the extra berth. Ahead of their first season in European Rugby's premier club competition, Gavin Duffy replaced John Muldoon as captain of the team. Connacht lost their first five matches in the pool stages, claiming losing bonuses in both of their games with Gloucester. In the final game of their pool, however, they managed an upset, beating Harlequins 9-8 in the Sportsground, which prevented the Premiership club from topping the group, and knocked them down into the Amlin Cup.
Domestically, meanwhile, the Celtic League had been renamed, given the previous season's introduction of Italian teams to the competition. In the first season of the new 'Pro 12', Connacht built on the previous year's performance. They finished the season in eighth place, ahead of Newport Gwent Dragons, an Edinburgh team managed by former coach Mike Bradley, and both of the Italian teams.
Connacht's entry into the Heineken Cup led to a significant increase in the club's popularity. In summer 2011, the supporters club, the Connacht Clan, was formed. In September 2011, Connacht season ticket sales went over the 3,000 mark for the first time in the club's history, and average attendance for the 2011-12 season saw a 105% increase over the previous season. Connacht's average attendance in home Pro12 matches climbed to 4,653 in the 2011-12 season, and increased further to 5,154 for the 2012-13 season.
Ahead of the 2012-13 season, Connacht signed former Scotland fly-half Dan Parks from the Cardiff Blues. Aironi were replaced in the 2012-13 Pro 12 with a new professional Italian team, called Zebre. Round 5 of the league saw Connacht beat their provincial rivals and the Heineken Cup holders, Leinster, 34-6 at the Sportsgrounds, with the team running in five tries. This season saw the Connacht end in the same position as the previous year, as the team finished eighth, above Cardiff Blues, Bradley's Edinburgh, the Dragons and Zebre. On the European stage, Connacht played in the Heineken Cup again in 2012–13, because of Leinster's second Heineken Cup win in a row. The team won three of their pool matches. The victories came in the home and away ties with newly formed Zebre, along with a victory at home to 2009-10 finalists and 2011–12 Challenge Cup winners Biarritz. Elwood had announced his intention to leave his post in October 2012, and he departed at the end of the 2012-13 season. The end of the season also saw the retirements of two of Connacht's most experienced players, Adrian Flavin and Johnny O'Connor, both of whom had made over 100 appearances for the team.
2013: Pat Lam takes over
Elwood's replacement was announced in January 2012, with the New Zealand born former Samoa international Pat Lam appointed to coach the team. Lam had previously served as head coach to Super Rugby side the Auckland Blues, coaching them in the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
The team qualified for their third Heineken Cup in a row in 2013-14, again thanks to Leinster, as the eastern province had won the 2012–13 European Challenge Cup and Connacht were drawn into pool 3 with Saracens, Toulouse, and Zebre. It was announced that the captaincy for the 2013-14 season would be split between Duffy, Muldoon and the team's most capped player, Michael Swift. Lam's first competitive game in charge was in the 2013-14 Pro 12, a 25-16 home win over Zebre. After this game Connacht failed to win their next five games, though they ran Saracens close in Galway, in the first Heineken Cup game of the season. Connacht eventually broke their losing streak with a win in the Heineken Cup, again coming against Zebre, this time in the Stadio XXV Aprile. In their next match, Connacht came close to beating Leinster in Dublin for the first time since 2002, but conceded a late penalty try to lose 16-13.
The team's patchy form continued after the derby with Leinster, and Connacht lost three more games in the Pro 12. After a 43-10 defeat to Edinburgh in Murrayfield, former captain of the Super Rugby side the Chiefs, Craig Clarke, was made Connacht's team captain with the others continuing to "lead off the field". On 8 December 2013, however, Connacht defied their form and produced one of the biggest shocks in the history of the Heineken Cup, when they defeated Toulouse in the pool stages in the Stade Ernest-Wallon.
Development Team Status
The IRFU originally designated Connacht as a development team, which meant that it received only half the budget of the other Irish provincial teams. In 2003, the IRFU discussed whether Connacht should be closed down as a means of cost saving, as happened to the Scottish team Caledonia Reds in 1998, the Welsh region Celtic Warriors in 2004, and in 2007, another of Scotland's teams, Border Reivers.
In addition to this, the IRFU would automatically enter Connacht in the European Challenge Cup each year rather than the more prestigious Heineken Cup, with the union's three places given to the other provinces regardless of results in the Celtic League (now the Pro12). However, ahead of the 2006–07 season, the IRFU agreed to use the Celtic League table as its sole criteria for determining which Irish teams would enter the next season's Heineken Cup. In that season, Connacht finished last among the competition's four Irish sides, which placed them in the 2007–08 European Challenge Cup. Connacht have finished bottom of the four Irish sides each season since 2006-07, meaning the team played in the European Challenge Cup every season from then, through to the 2010–11 competition, after which they qualified to the Heineken Cup, due to Leinster's success in European competition.
Despite no longer being classed as a development team, having a smaller playing population than the other provinces means that a larger proportion of Connacht's players are recruited from around the rest of Ireland. These are usually other province's fringe players or youth team members struggling to break into their team's senior squad. Growth in the number of young players from Connacht progressing from the academy into the senior squad has lessened the reliance on these sorts of transfers, somewhat. 2012-13 squad members Tiernan O'Halloran, Dennis Buckley, Eoin McKeon, Robbie Henshaw and Eoin Griffin are examples of Connacht players native to the province, born in or after 1990.
Players who are developed by Connacht are prone to being recruited by the other Irish provinces and clubs outside Ireland. For example, the club lost four important first team players in 2011 alone, with the team's out-half, Ian Keatley's move to Munster, along with the transfers of hooker Sean Cronin, tighthead prop Jamie Hagan and winger Fionn Carr to Leinster (though Carr later returned in 2013). After the loss of Irish international lock Mike McCarthy was announced in 2012, with the player again moving to Leinster, Connacht's chief executive Tom Sears accused Leinster of trying to 'poach' Connacht players, arguing it was not in the best interests of Irish rugby.
The historical home of Connacht Rugby since the late 1920s, the Galway Sportsground, often known simply as "the Sportsground", is known as a spartan and inhospitable venue for visiting teams, especially in winter. The ground is owned by "The Galway Agricultural & Sports Society Ltd." who lease it to both Connacht Rugby and the Irish Greyhound Board. Due primarily to the issue of ownership, the development of the Sportsground has lagged behind the home grounds of the other Irish provinces, who with the backing of the IRFU, have moved ahead with major developments completed on Thomond Park in 2008 and Ravenhill in 2009, with further refurbishment planned for the RDS. These developments leave Connacht further behind the other provinces, as their rivals look to benefit financially from the increased revenue streams.
Connacht Rugby participated in the Heineken Cup in 2011-2012, which spurred a new phase of development at the Sportsground, with the aim of increasing capacity to 7,500 supporters. The Clubhouse Terrace was knocked down to be replaced by covered terrace called "the Clan Terrace". This terrace is primarily to house season ticket holders and Supporters Club members. This is the first stage of development on the Clubhouse side of the ground, as the Clan Terrace is scheduled to be replaced itself when funds to do so are in place. There is also ancillary work being undertaken behind the terrace which will see the construction of a bar, food outlets and restroom facilities on the Clubhouse side of the ground.
The second part of the development will be the erection of a covered, seated "West Stand", adjacent to the existing main stand. This stand will cater for over 300 supporters. The new West Stand, along with the developments on the new Clan side, are anticipated to improve facilities within the Sportsground.
Connacht Eagles (formerly Connacht A) is the team that represents Connacht in the British & Irish Cup and in the All Ireland Inter-provincial Championship. Pre-professionalism and a formal Celtic league structure, the main Connacht team competed in the AIPC. Since the advent of professionalism the provinces have fielded lesser teams in order to concentrate on the Celtic League/Pro12. The team is composed of Senior Connacht squad players requiring gametime, Academy players and AIL players called up from their clubs.
Crest & Colours
The eagle and sword arm crest featured in the Connacht Rugby crest is taken from the flag of the province. These arms are said to have been granted to Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair, King of Connacht, by the Schottenkloster, or Irish monastery, founded in Regensburg, Bavaria in the 11th century.
The current kit consists of a green shirt with black trimming, black shorts and black socks with green trimming. The away kit is white, green and blue. The traditional colours of the Connacht province and flag are blue, black and white with no green present; the reasons for its presence on the Connacht Rugby kit are unknown. However the Green jersey has been associated with the Connacht Rugby senior provincial rugby team for well over fifty years.[when?]
The current official Connacht team and support staff kit supplier is Australian manufacturer BLK sport, who announced a comprehensive four-year agreement to supply the full range of apparel for all of Connacht Rugby’s representative teams and support staff in 2013.
|Club||Played||Won||Drawn||Lost||Points For||Points Against||Points Difference||Tries For||Tries Against||Try Bonus||Losing Bonus||Points|
|7||Newport Gwent Dragons||15||6||0||9||260||302||−42||21||26||0||4||28|
If teams are level at any stage, tiebreakers are applied in the following order:
|Green background (rows 1 to 4) are play-off places. Qualification for the Heineken Cup is based on each country's allocation, i.e. three highest–ranked Irish teams, three highest–ranked Welsh teams, both Italian teams and both Scottish teams. Updated 1 March 2014. Source: RaboDirect PRO12|
Celtic League / Pro12 History
|2001–02||2nd (Pool B)||6||4||0||2||152||97||55||n/a||12|
|Quarter-final||Connacht 29 – 34 Glasgow|
|2002–03||4th (Pool B)||7||5||0||2||126||176||-50||0||20|
|Quarter-final||Munster 33 – 3 Connacht|
|2003–04 Celtic Cup||1st Round||Borders 21 – 26 Connacht|
|Quarter-final||Scarlets 12 – 14 Connacht|
|Semi-final||Connacht 25 – 26 Edinburgh|
|Season||Pool Pos||Played||Won||Drew||Lost||Pts For||Against||Pts Diff||Bonus||Points|
European Challenge Cup
|Quarter-final||Agen 40 – 27 Connacht|
|2002–03||Round 1||Mont de Marsan 12 – 26 Connacht|
|Connacht 47 – 29 Mont de Marsan|
|Round 2||Narbonne 42 – 27 Connacht|
|Connacht 23 – 7 Narbonne|
|Quarter-final||Connacht 30 – 35 Pontypridd|
|Pontypridd 12 – 9 Connacht|
|2003–04||Round 1||Béziers 10 – 18 Connacht|
|Connacht 11 – 13 Béziers|
|Round 2||Connacht 29 – 7 Pau|
|Pau 10 – 6 Connacht|
|Quarter-final||Narbonne 18 – 27 Connacht|
|Connacht 16 – 10 Narbonne|
|Semi-final||Harlequins 31 – 22 Connacht|
|Connacht 23 – 18 Harlequins|
|2004–05||Round 1||Narbonne 25 – 11 Connacht|
|Connacht 40 – 21 Narbonne|
|Round 2||Connacht 56 – 3 Montpellier|
|Montpellier 19 – 14 Connacht|
|Quarter-final||Grenoble 21 – 26 Connacht|
|Connacht 19 – 3 Grenoble|
|Semi-final||Connacht 18 – 25 Sale Sharks|
|Sale Sharks 59 – 9 Connacht|
|Quarter-final||Newcastle Falcons 23 – 3 Connacht|
|Quarter-final||Northampton Saints 42 – 13 Connacht|
|Quarter-final||Connacht 23 – 20 Bourgoin|
|Semi-final||Connacht 12 – 19 Toulon|
Coaching and Management Team 2013/14
|Head Coach||Pat Lam||New Zealand|
|Assistant Coach||Pat McFarland||Ireland|
|Skills Coach||Dave Ellis||New Zealand|
|Team Manager||Tim Allnut||New Zealand|
Eagles Head Coach
|Resource Coach(es)||Cory Browne
| New Zealand
|Head of Strength and
|Performance Analyst||Conor McPhillips||Ireland|
|Head Physio||Gavin Malouf||Australia|
Senior Playing Squad 2013/14 Season
- Players qualified to play for Ireland on dual nationality or residency grounds*.
- Senior 15's internationally capped players in bold.
Academy Squad 2013/14
Note: Flags indicate national union as has been defined under IRB eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-IRB nationality.
Players In Season 2013/14
Players Out Season 2013/14
See also Category:Connacht Rugby players
The following Connacht players have represented Ireland at full international level.
British and Irish Lions
(c) Tour Captain
- Warwick Waugh
- Robbie Morris
- Henry Fa'afili
- Ray Ofisa
- James So'oialo
- Ofisa Treviranus
- Gavin Williams
- Dan Parks
- Eric Peters
- Fetu'u Vainikolo
Head Coaches in Professional Era
|Coach||First Season||Final Season|
Senior clubs are the top level of club within the province. Connacht is currently represented by 4 teams in the All-Ireland League (AIL), which is the IRFU's primary senior club competition. No club from Connacht has won the AIL. The teams from Connacht are:
- Division 2A: Galwegians RFC
- Division 2B: Sligo RFC
Junior clubs are the next level down in the province's development ladder. Connacht has 20 junior clubs for 2013-14:
Also known as 'mini rugby clubs' these teams are another level below the Jnior Clubs. The mini rugby clubs for 2013-14 are:
- An Ghaeltacht RFC
- Ballaghaderreen RFC
- Erris RFC
- Na Barineachaí RFC
- South Sligo RFC
Club & Schools Competitions
- "Connacht To Celebrate 125 Years At Annual Awards". Irish Rugby. 25 April 2011. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
- "Clubs". Connacht Rugby. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
- Howitt (2005), p.8
- "Connacht announce new coach". ESPN Scrum. 29 June 2000.
- "Play-Off History". RaboDirect Pro12. Retrieved 26 October 2013.
- "Connacht fans in IRFU protest". BBC Sport. 24 January 2003.
- "Designing the future of Connacht Rugby". The Roar. 31 March 2010.
- "Michael Bradley to Replace Steph Nel at Connacht". Munster Rugby. 28 April 2003.
- "John Fogarty to captain Connacht". ERC. 9 August 2006.
- "Farley Chosen As Connacht Captain". Irish Rugby. 26 July 2007.
- "Muldoon the man to skipper Connacht". RTE Sport. 6 August 2008.
- "Bradley set to leave Connacht". RTE Sport. 3 November 2009.
- "Swift Becomes Connacht's Most-Capped Player". Irish Rugby. 14 December 2009.
- "Ireland Under-20s: A Season To Remember". Irish Rugby. 17 March 2007.
- "Connacht handed Heineken Cup place". ESPN Scrum. 22 May 2011. Retrieved 24 May 2011.
- "Duffy announced as Connacht captain". ERC. 31 August 2011.
- "Connacht 9-8 Harlequins". RTE Sport. 20 January 2012.
- "Connacht Rugby, Connacht Clan March". 5 September 2011.
- "ERC, Connacht season ticket sales over 3,000 mark". 19 September 2011.
- "19 September 2011".
- "Connacht Rugby looking forward 2012/2013 season". Sports News Ireland. 19 June 2012.
- "3 provinces see Pro12 attendance increases but Munster in decline". The Score. 23 April 2013.
- "Leinster fall to five-star Connacht". Rabo Direct PRO 12. 9 September 2012.
- "Heineken Cup: Connacht 22-14 Biarritz". BBC Sport. 7 December 2012.
- "Eric Elwood departure from Connacht confirmed". RTE Sport. 3 October 2012. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
- "Connacht hooker Adrian Flavin to retire at the end of this season". BBC Sport. 8 April 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
- "Ireland and Connacht legend Johnny ‘Concrete’ O’Connor retires from pro rugby". Irish Independent. 27 March 2013. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
- "Lam Appointed As Connacht Head Coach". Irish Rugby. 12 January 2013.
- "Connacht name Club Captains". RaboDirectPro12. 27 August 2013.
- "Saracens forced to fight tooth and nail in fight against Connacht". Irish Independent. 11 October 2013.
- "Leinster edge past unlucky Connacht". RTÉ Sport. 27 October 2013.
- "Clarke asked to captain Connacht as Mafi looks forward to return from suspension". Daily Mail. 4 December 2013.
- "Toulouse 14 Connacht 16". Daily Telegraph. 8 December 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
- "Lam basks in glow of Connacht's finest hour". Irish Independent. 8 December 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
- "Connacht diehards shock French aristocrats". Irish Examiner. 8 December 2013. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
- "Sad demise of the Celtic Warriors". Munster Rugby. 4 June 2004.
- "Border Reivers to be shut down". RTE Sport. 14 June 2007.
- "Connacht recruits eight youngsters for its academy". Mayo Advertiser. 14 June 2013.
- "Heffernan and Qualter Graduate To Connacht Senior Sqaud". Irish Rugby. 15 March 2013.
- "Munster confirm Ian Keatley signing and secure future of eleven players". JOE.ie.
- "Sean Cronin signs two year deal with Leinster". Leinster Rugby. 24 January 2011.
- "Leinster announce hat-trick of signings". Sport News. 28 March 2011.
- "Browne And Carr On Their Way To Leinster". Irish Rugby. 4 May 2011.
- "Fionn Carr returning to Connacht in the summer". Setanta Sports. 21 January 2013.
- "Mike McCarthy to leave Connacht for Leinster". RTÉ News. 12 December 2012.
- "Connacht fury as Blues sign McCarthy". The Irish Examiner. 13 December 2012.
- "Connacht Excited About Redeveloped Sportsground". Irish Rugby. 13 July 2011.
- "B&I Cup set to arrive in Connacht". Connacht Rugby. 11 May 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
- "Two from two for the Eagles". Connacht Rugby. 20 September 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
- "The British & Irish Cup will provide some great opportunities for a lot of the academy members to play with the Connacht Eagles.""Connacht Eagles welcome Munster A's to the Sportsground". Connacht Rugby. 22 August 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
- "due to a lot of our development players on duty in Glasgow this weekend we have tapped into the talent pool of the Club game for tomorrow’s match.""Connacht Eagles to take on Munster A in Limerick". Connacht Rugby. 19 September 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
- Heraldry in Ireland, The National Library of Ireland
- "Connacht strike new deal with Australian kit suppliers". Galway Advertiser. 20 June 2013.
- "Connacht seal lucrative Mazda deal". Irish Independent. 3 August 2011.
- Competition Rule 3.5 "Summary of Key Rules". Pro 12. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
- "Conor Gilsesnan Joins Connacht Rugby On Loan". Leinster Rugby. 18 February 2014. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
- "Reynecke word 'n Cheetah". SupaRugby (in Afrikaans). 20 June 2013. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
- "Willie bly ’n Cheetah". Beeld (in Afrikaans). Media24. 7 July 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
- "Heyneke sal Lappies, Siya in Kaap dophou". Die Burger (in Afrikaans). Media24. 25 June 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2013.
- "James So'oailo released by Connacht on compassionate grounds". Irish Independent. 26 October 2013.
- The Ireland Rugby Miscellany (2007): Ciaran Cronin
- Stephy Nel replacing outgoing Glenn Ross at Connacht http://www.espn.co.uk/scrum/rugby/story/31593.html
- "Ulster Bank League Tables". Irish Rugby. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
- Official Site
- ConnachtClan - Official Supporters Site
- ConnachtFans - Unofficial Supporters Site
- KnockOn.ie: Coverage Of All Levels Of Rugby In Connacht
- Connacht information and stat on ItsRugby.co.uk
- ercrugby Profile
- Various information is taken from "Rugby in Connacht" written by Galway sports journalist Ralph O'Gorman and published by Kenny's Bookshop, Galway.
- IRFU Annual Report 2007-2008
- IRFU Annual Report 2006-2007
- IRFU Annual Report 2005-2006
- IRFU Annual Report 2004-2005