Connacht – The Team That Refused To Die

A fascinating new book is soon to be launched which outlines how Connacht twice came back from the brink of extinction to capture the Pro12 crown in such glorious fashion last May.

The famous march by over 2,000 supporters to the IRFU headquarters helped save Connacht in 2003, but details of how the province’s professional team came even closer to extinction just seven years ago are outlined in the new book.

Connacht — The Team That Refused To Die is written by Galway-based journalist John Fallon of Media West (Ireland), who has been covering the fortunes of the team for over 32 years for a variety of print, broadcast and online media.

The book, a 224-page hardback which will retail for €19.99, is produced in conjunction with Inpho Sports Photography and contains over 250 wonderful images. The book is available for pre-order at and will also be available from bookshops in the coming weeks.

Billy Stickland and his team at Inpho Sports Photography chart the progress of the Connacht team from the outset of professionalism to winning their first trophy in their 131-year history when they defeated Leinster in the Pro12 final at Murrayfield in May.

Fallon was uniquely placed when the IRFU proposed to disband Connacht in the winter of 2002-03 as he had taken over as team manager the previous summer and served for a number of years.

He reveals the real reason why the IRFU backed off in 2003, while the extent of the threat which came six years later is also detailed for the first time, leading on to the unprecedented glory under the direction of Pat Lam as Connacht, having never finished in the top half of the league, came with a glorious run which ended in silverware and a never to be forgotten homecoming.

“It’s a story which really needed to be told and with the superb work of the photographers from Inpho, we were in an unique and privileged position to chart it through the stories and images accumulated over the past three decades and more.

“It is a labour of love rather than a commercially driven project. The print run, accordingly, is limited so we are asking supporters to pre-order to ensure they will be able to get a copy.

“It is a fascinating story how this team has had to overcome so many obstacles to achieve glory and it has been great to witness it,” said Fallon.

The book charts the history of Connacht in the professional era and there is also a monthly diary of the glory campaign last season, including the historic trip to Siberia where Fallon and James Crombie of Inpho accompanied the team on their unplanned extended stay in Russia when their aircraft broke down in temperatures of minus 25 degrees Celsius.

The book, which also includes the dates, venues and results of all Connacht’s games in the league and Europe in the professional era, has interviews and features with the players, coaches, officers, opponents, supporters and many others from the start of professionalism in 1995 right up to this month.