Connacht Rugby continue to flourish under head coach Andy Friend. Connacht on the back of an impressive January period where they had an impressive win over Premiership side Sale Sharks in the European Challenge Cup and only narrowly lost to local rivals Munster in the Pro14 continue to make strides in the European Challenge Cup with a win over Bordeaux Begles.
The good vibes continue with 6 players now called into the Ireland national squad ahead of the six nations. Quinn Roux, Bundee Aki, Caolin Blade, Jack Carty, Ultan Dillane and Tom Farrell have all been called into the squad. Blade, Carty and Farrell are the debutants in the Ireland squad and will no doubt gain valuable experience in the Irish set-up training with the likes of Jonny Sexton and Conor Murray.
Whilst it can be argued that Blade is an inclusion due to injuries (currently Luke McGrath and Kieran Marmion are injured) his form would say otherwise. Blade has been an ever present in the Connacht side this season and his form has been exceptional, no doubt forcing Joe Schmidt and co. to sit up and take notice. Whether or not Blade sees much game time ahead of the returning Conor Murray remains to be seen but one thing is for sure the experience gained will be invaluable to the men in green out west.