Gal­way party looks set to con­tinue against Kings

The Irish Times - Sports Weekend - - RUGBY - GAVIN CUM­MISKEY

Con­fer­ence A Con­nacht v South­ern Kings Sports­ground, 7.35pm Live TG4

Hav­ing spent the week out west th­ese Port El­iz­a­beth vis­i­tors will know all about the vic­to­ri­ous Tribes­men. The party con­tin­ues. A busy Sports­ground will get an­other glimpse of Liam MacCarthy as Gal­way’s elite sport­ing tal­ent have been in­vited to rub shoul­ders with pro­fes­sional rugby play­ers.

By now some­body is bound to have told Michael Willemse’s South­ern Kings that hurl­ing is the rea­son Wil­liam Webb El­lis will never make a sim­i­lar jour­ney.

Not that Con­nacht should strug­gle against a team, many of whom are sip­ping in the last chance saloon of pro­fes­sion­al­ism, set up to be the Pro14 whip­ping boys deep into the win­ter months (they should take a few scalps on the sunny East­ern Cape).

As an ex­am­ple, see out­half Kurt Cole­man. After eight years in Cape Town as third choice num­ber 10, and passed over by two men, cur­rent Springbok coach Al­lis­ter Coet­zee then Rob­bie Fleck, this game dou­bles as an au­di­tion to gain a con­tract in the more lu­cra­tive Euro­pean mar­ket.

Fresh start

“It’s a fresh start for me,” said Cole­man re­cently. “I think it’s go­ing to be good for my ca­reer just to do some­thing new. The thing that most ex­cites me is play­ing against dif­fer­ent play­ers in dif­fer­ent con­di­tions . . . ”

Let’s see how Cole­man goes amidst un­pre­dictable At­lantic squalls.

With Aus­tralian out­half An­drew Dee­gan ar­riv­ing at Con­nacht ear­lier this week, Jack Carty and Steve Cros­bie are also on no­tice.

The form of Bundee Aki is more in­ter­est­ing than ever now he’s set to be capped by Joe Sch­midt in Novem­ber. Same goes for Tom Mc­Cart­ney as the tough 31 year old Auck­land hooker also qual­i­fies via res­i­dency be­fore the Six Na­tions.

Plenty to play for with noth­ing short of vic­tory ac­cept­able.

South­ern Kings out­half Kurt Cole­man gets chance to im­press clubs in Europe

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