Connacht set for Tongan boost

Wed, 02 Jan 2013 19:22
Large fetu uvainikolotonga Large connacht celebrate630 Large mike mccarthy connacht

Tonga wing Fetu'u Vainikolo is set to return to the Connacht fray for Saturday's home clash with Newport Gwent Dragons.

Tonga wing Fetu'u Vainikolo is set to return to the Connacht fray for Saturday's home clash with Newport Gwent Dragons in Round 13 of the Pro12.

The squad have been boosted with the recent return to fitness of centres Mata Fifita and Kyle Tonetti. Both will play for their respective clubs this weekend - Bucanneers RFC and Lansdowne RFC - and are expected to be available for selection as the province looks to the European Cup competition next week.

Miah Nikora is also set to return either this week or next week after suffering a minor groin injury in the lead up to the game against Munster.

There were a few knocks picked up during last Saturday's defeat to Leinster. Wing Matt Healy, who made his debut in Dublin, suffered a hand fracture and is expected to be out of action for three to four weeks.

Forward Johnny O'Connor also picked up an injury and his involvement this weekend is in doubt while Dave McSharry and Michael Swift suffered knocks at the RDS, but have both been given the 'all clear' and have returned to full training.

As the province head into a big month of games both in the Pro12 and European Cup competitions, head coach Eric Elwood said the first game of 2013 is an important home fixture for the team.

"This game against Dragons is a vitally important one for the club. We're side by side at the bottom of the table so this is a huge game for both teams. Obviously, with us at home, the pressure is on us to win it,” he said.

“The key thing is that we learn from the mistakes of the last two derby matches that we've had. And the main focus for us this weekend is about getting everything right ourselves to secure the win."

While Connacht achieved a double win over the men from Gwent last season, they were defeated 14-3 by the Dragons back in November.

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Sat, 10 October 2015
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Samoa v Scotland 13h30 Newcastle
Golden Lions v Griquas 14h00 Ellis Park
Australia v Wales 15h45 London
England v Uruguay 19h00 Manchester
Sun, 11 October 2015
Argentina v Namibia 11h00 Leicester
Italy v Romania 13h30 Exeter
France v Ireland 15h45 Cardiff
United States v Japan 19h00 Gloucester
Fri, 16 October 2015
Blue Bulls v Western Province 17h00 Pretoria
Connacht v Zebre 18h30 Sportsground
Glasgow Warriors v Dragons 18h35 Scotstoun
Scarlets v Leinster 18h35 Parc y Scarlets
Edinburgh v Ulster 18h45 BT Murrayfield
Fri, 09 October 2015
New Zealand v Tonga 47 | 9
Western Province v EP Kings 45 | 14
Pumas v Blue Bulls 24 | 25
Wed, 07 October 2015
Namibia v Georgia 16 | 17
South Africa v United States 64 | 0
Tue, 06 October 2015
Fiji v Uruguay 47 | 15
Canada v Romania 15 | 17
Sun, 04 October 2015
Ireland v Italy 16 | 9
Argentina v Tonga 45 | 16
Zebre v Scarlets 8 | 20
Sat, 03 October 2015
England v Australia 13 | 33
Connacht v Cardiff Blues 36 | 31
South Africa v Scotland 34 | 16
Samoa v Japan 5 | 26
Leinster v Dragons 37 | 13
Team P W D L Pts
Scarlets 3 3 0 0 12
Edinburgh 3 3 0 0 12
Munster 3 3 0 0 12
Connacht 3 2 0 1 11
Ulster 3 2 0 1 10
Leinster 3 2 0 1 10
Cardiff Blues 3 2 0 1 7
Glasgow Warriors 3 1 0 2 6
Dragons 3 1 0 2 5
Treviso 3 0 0 3 2
Ospreys 3 0 0 2 1
Zebre 3 0 0 3 0