Eoghan Masterson kicks on after injury ordeal

Eoghan Masterson kicks on after injury ordeal

Connacht forward Eoghan Masterson, after finally making his Champions Cup debut last weekend, is determined to create more history in France tomorrow when they take on Toulouse.

The 26-year-old back row made his 80th appearance for Connacht at the weekend, but it was his first in Europe’s top competition.

A dreadful knee injury at Zebre in February 2016 ended his involvement during the PRO12 winning year and he subsequently missed the chance to feature in Europe the following season.

But Masterson finally made his bow in the stunning 23-20 win against Montpellier, and is excited about what lies ahead.

“My first year down here, when we were in the Champions Cup I was actually in the academy at the time, I wasn’t registered to play,” said Masterson.

“Then when we won the PRO12 and qualified for the Champions Cup I was out with my knee at that time.

“People say to me you are so unlucky with injury but I tell them I have only had three serious injuries but four surgeries. Outside of those I have been lucky enough it’s just when I get injured they tend to be long-term.

“It was pretty sweet finally making the Champions Cup debut.

It is great to be part of these big games now and to be fit and involved. I am really enjoying my rugby and fortunate enough to be involved in the first seven games.

“We are getting results as well which makes it a good place to be.”

Pat Lam’s Connacht shocked Toulouse 16-14 at Stade Ernest Wallon in 2013 and they beat them again in the Sportsground three seasons ago.

But the French have returned to prominence since then and were outstanding in their 25-20 victory at Gloucester in the opening round.

The Portlaoise native knows it would take another massive performance but believes Connacht are capable of a shock win.

“Andy Friend mentioned after the game that no team that has lost their first home game has gone on to get out of the group,” said Masterson.

“We have ambitions of getting out of the group and it’s a winner-takes-all against Toulouse now. Whoever wins it will be top of the pool.

Toulouse looked really good against Gloucester. They had something like 70% possession. When they had it it was really difficult to get it off them.

“In that second half they really squeezed Gloucester and took them on up front. We know we are going to have a big day at scrum. They are a big heavy pack. And their lineout defence was really good as well.

“They are a really quality team, they won the Top14 last year and got to the semi-finals of Europe.

“It’s away from home as well which is going to be a bigger challenge.”

More on this topic

Denis Buckley wary of familiar foes GloucesterDenis Buckley wary of familiar foes Gloucester

Andy Friend recalls Gloucester playbook decoyAndy Friend recalls Gloucester playbook decoy

Bundee Aki bags a try in Connacht win after signing new dealBundee Aki bags a try in Connacht win after signing new deal

Connacht coach Friend upbeat on Aki contractConnacht coach Friend upbeat on Aki contract

More in this Section

Anthony Joshua ‘grateful for having a second opportunity’ against Andy Ruiz JrAnthony Joshua ‘grateful for having a second opportunity’ against Andy Ruiz Jr

Allen and Maguire progress in UK ChampionshipAllen and Maguire progress in UK Championship

5 players Chelsea could try and sign after having their transfer ban lifted5 players Chelsea could try and sign after having their transfer ban lifted

Steven Gerrard ‘set to sign new Rangers contract’Steven Gerrard ‘set to sign new Rangers contract’


Lifestyle

As we wait, eager and giddy, a collective shudder of agitated ardor ripples through the theatre, like a Late, Late Toyshow audience when they KNOW Ryan’s going to give them another €150 voucher. Suddenly, a voice booms from the stage. Everyone erupts, whooping and cheering. And that was just for the safety announcement.Everyman's outstanding Jack and the Beanstalk ticks all panto boxes

Every band needs a Bez. In fact, there’s a case to be made that every workplace in the country could do with the Happy Mondays’ vibes man. Somebody to jump up with a pair of maracas and shake up the energy when things begin to flag.Happy Mondays create cheery Tuesday in Cork gig

More From The Irish Examiner