Gerry Thornley shares anecdote of Northampton's defeat at Connacht in the 1990s

The Northampton squad who travelled to the Galway that day featured five British and Irish Lions

On tonight's Off The Ball Gerry Thornley and Keith Wood discussed just how far Connacht have come and reflected on a remarkable season for Pat Lam's men.

The Irish Times rugby correspondent shared an anecdote on the show which exemplifies how far they've progressed since the 1990s and 2000s.

"Back in 1997-98 just after the Lions Tour that summer, Northampton came to Connacht, to Galway for a rearranged match. It was rearranged for a midweek game because the original game was cancelled because of the death of Princess Diana.

"The game was rearranged for midweek and I was offered the chance to cover that or an IRFU committee meeting. So I chose the Connacht game. And Connacht beat Northampton something like 46-16, I think it was Warren Gatland's first season.

"Northampton had five Lions in their team including Gregor Townsend, I remember Matt Dawson playing that day and Tim Rodberg, Tim Stimpson and Paul Gryason.

"I remember at one point Gregor took a restart and it was in glorious sunshine and they were being beaten out the gate. The restart didn't go the ten and some wagon in the crowd shouted 'Weren't you playing for the lions in the summer?' It was just one of those days.

"That day an IRFU man rang in to get the result and ask for the score and he was told it was 46-16 and he said 'Oh, you put up a good fight then!'".