Connacht have been boosted by confirmation Bundee Aki will be available to face Leinster in their first interprovincial game of the season, as well as their return to Champions Cup rugby the following week.
Aki will sit out the final game of his three-match suspension away to Ospreys on Saturday, a ban that was handed down when he became the first Irish player to be sent off in a World cup match against Samoa last month.
Out-half Jack Carty will also make his return for the derby with Leinster at the Sportsground next weekend following his impressive World Cup in the Irish shirt, after both internationals were pencilled in for training next week.
“Bundee and Jack came to support us at the game last weekend but they’re off again this week. We expect them back in full training next week,” said defence coach Pete Wilkins.
“As far as we’re concerned they’re available for selection thereafter. Bundee’s suspension will be served.
“They may have to de-load at some point in context of Ireland’s commitments, but for us we expect them in full training next week and ready to go.”
Meanwhile, Connacht are waiting for the results of scans on Gavin Thornbury’s elbow injury, but it is not expected to be as serious as first feared.