BUNDEE AKI will not be part of Connacht's travelling pack for the trip to Dublin, when they take on Leinster on Friday. Connacht are looking to continue their impressive run of form after beating Ospreys last Friday.
Aki is still looking to get over a knee problem that he acquired during Ireland's three November tests and because of this will not make the trip to the RDS. The Galway outfit will however be able to call up Cian Prendergast, who missed the wins over the Ospreys and Ulster through injury.
Pete Wilkins, the Connacht attack coach has urged the province to keep the strong form going as they face a strong Leinster side.
Connacht, under Andy Friend were excellent against Ospreys last Friday. The attacking performance has pundits and fans raving about the side. Connacht also beat Ulster 36-11, the last time they rocked up to Dublin.
Leinster will be keen to get back on track following their own defeat to Ulster last Saturday.
“I think what Ulster did well was they brought an enormous amount of physicality and energy in everything they did,” Wilkins said.
When there were positive moments for them they built on them with more positive moments. When they had their own speed bumps in the game and Leinster had the moments – which you expect them to do at home – they found a way to bounce back from it quickly, and let go of that negative phase and reassert themselves on the game and generate their own momentum.
“From that point of view that physicality and energy that Ulster brought enabled them to do both of those things pretty well.
“For us, one thing we know we’re never lacking when we play interpros, but particularly Leinster, is the energy and excitement of the occasion. I think the determination in those games, whether it’s the provincial identity or rivalry, or international selection, there’s no shortage of motivation or incentive in the game.
Happy Monday but particularly to everyone involved in this play 🤩 pic.twitter.com/DoMTXJcwio
— Connacht Rugby (@connachtrugby) November 29, 2021
“The important bit for us is to focus on what we can control and do well. Historically – we’d be the first to acknowledge it – Connacht would have had an emotional yo-yo between different types of opposition.
That Ospreys game just gone was incredibly important for us. On the back of that Ulster performance (in October), albeit with a bit of break, we needed to show we were no longer chained to the opposition in terms of how we enabled the mindset for that game.
“It will be a step up this week, and we have to embrace that and be grateful that it’s Leinster bringing that test, and no better opposition for us to see where we’re at in terms of the growth of the game on the back of that Ospreys performance.”