He may not be playing this weekend but Connacht flanker Michael Swift admits their European tie against Biarritz on Friday is one of he biggest in the club’s history.
The RaboDirect PRO12 side are a point behind the five-time French champions in their Heineken Cup group and know a win at the Galway Sportsground could see them take a step towards qualification to the knock-out stages.
But they will have to do so without the injured Swift, who is joined on the sidelines by captain Gavin Duffy, John Muldoon, Eoin Griffin and George Naoupu – while stand-in captain Nathan White is a major doubt with a calf injury.
But despite the lack of numbers, Swift insists the province will be geared towards getting a positive result come Friday.
“Obviously I’m disappointed not to be playing but this game means as much to me as if I was out there on the pitch,” said Swift.
“And I can’t wait to get behind the boys in one of the biggest games in Connacht’s history.
“Last year was unbelievable with the atmosphere the competition generated around the province and the home crowd were incredible each game. The supporters have been amazing all season and we need that support again this week.
“Biarritz are a challenging side but we know what to expect and I have every confidence that the lads will do us proud and that we can win this one.”