Young backing Connacht to recover

Date published: September 29 2016

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young is expecting Connacht to be firing on all cylinders by the time the two sides meet in the Champions Cup.

The defending PRO12 champions have lost their first three matches and are grouped in Pool 2 alongside Wasps, plus Toulouse and Zebre.

Despite Connacht's rough start, Young has noticed an improvement in their matches as the season has worn on.

"I have spoken to Pat [Lam, Connacht boss] a couple of times with our second James Cannon moving to Connacht this week. Unfortunately, he has had to play a little bit of catch-up this season," Young said.

"They had two friendlies postponed and he went into the season a little bit undercooked.

But, if you look at their games, they are probably only five to ten percent off where they were last season, and got better with every game."

Young was also full of praise for the strides Connacht have made in recent years since the days when he took Cardiff Blues to Galway, highlighting Connacht's dangerous offloading game and how the conditions in the west of Ireland still have a major role to play.

"I'm not underestimating them. By the time we play them, I am sure that they will be back to where they were, and they are a really tough team to play against," Young added.

"They keep the ball moving, offload for fun, and those are the type of games in which you really come unstuck.

"I know from going back to my Cardiff Blues days that you can go to Connacht in July, and it is still raining! I'm expecting it to not be great weather when we go to Galway with that gusty wind – it is a difficult place to play.

"Years ago I was going there when their team wasn't the same as it is now.

"They have players that can't hurt you. One offload breaks a defence and you could quite easily find yourselves three tries down in ten minutes at Connacht. Pat is a really nice bloke, and he has done a fantastic job."