Elwood: Connacht won’t take a step back

THE excitement of Heineken Cup rugby finally arriving for Connacht this season must take a back seat this weekend when the new Rabo Direct Pro12 League kicks off.

Connacht face a tough opener against Benetton Treviso in Italy tomorrow (2pm), and coach Eric Elwood says after achieving a best place finish last year, it is imperative his side makes an opening day statement.

“The challenge this year now is can we do it again?” he said .

“Can we back it up again? Fifteen new players and that is their challenge. We do not want to take a step back and it starts against Treviso.”

CONNACHT: G Duffy (cpt), M McCrea, H Fa’afili, E Griffin, T O’Halloran, M Jarvis, F Murphy, R Loughney, A Flavin, R Ah You, M McCarthy, M Swift, J Muldoon, R Ofisa, G Naoupu.

Replacements: E Reynecke, D Buckley, D Rogers, TJ Anderson, J O’Connor, P O’Donohoe, N O’Connor, B Tuohy.

BENETTON TREVISO: L Nitoglia, M Sepe, K Burton, A Pratichetti, B Williams, W De Waal, A Chillon, M Rizzo, F Sbaraglini, A Allori, A Pavenello (cpt), V Bernabo, M Filippucci, F Minto, A Chillon.

Replacements: D Vidal, M Muccignat, P Di Santo, G Padro, B Vermaak, S Picone, A Di Bernardo, B De Jager.

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