Connacht captain Gavin Duffy insists there will be no coming along for the ride this season, claiming that the province are ready to leave their mark on Europe’s finest.
Duffy and co reached the Heineken Cup for the first time in Connacht’s history last term – and they will get a second bite of the cherry this season after Leinster successfully defended their title.
Last season Connacht, who finished eighth in the RaboDirect PRO12 table, lost their first five matches of their maiden campaign but finished off with an historic 9-8 victory over Harlequins at the Sportsground.
And Duffy has revealed Connacht have been making steps to ensure that after testing the water last season, they are ready for the deep end of Europe’s elite competition.
“I think the fact that we’re into the Heineken Cup for a second year in a row is a massive boost to the players,” said 30-year-old full-back Duffy.
“It’s fantastic for the area and it keeps the players motivated and desperate to do well. It is a long-term project but we’re also looking for results in the short term.
“It means so much to Connacht. It hasn’t always been the case but there’s a really buzz around the place this year and last because of the Heineken Cup.
“The key for us is attention to detail this season. Looking back to last season and our first match in the Heineken Cup at home against Toulouse, the intensity they had and the intensity they played with was a real eye-opener.
“We made some poor mistakes that again come down to attention to detail and so that’s what we’re looking to improve on.”