Jack Carty relishing knock-out clash with old half-back partner John Cooney 5 months ago

Jack Carty relishing knock-out clash with old half-back partner John Cooney

Either way this result falls, there could be an awkward moment or two at the party.

John Cooney has a European Cup final appearance with Leinster and a PRO12 victory with Connacht, but he has truly settled at Ulster. All that is missing is some silverware, and a massive house-warming party.

Cooney has been at Ulster since July 2017 and is putting down roots now. This Saturday, after facing off against Connacht in the Guinness PRO14 quarter finals, he is having some of his old Connacht teammates over.

Jack Carty and Dave Heffernan, who played with Cooney at Connacht for two seasons, will check out the scrum-half's new digs. Only hours beforehand, they will be doing battle at Kingspan Stadium.

Carty joined Barry Murphy and Andrew Trimble on Baz & Andrew's House of Rugby [from 24:00 below] and looked ahead to that crucial knock-out game, as well as the post-match plans.

(Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile)

Connacht have grown into the season nicely, with Carty describing their attacking brand of rugby as a "hybrid" of former coach Pat Lam and newcomer Andy Friend.

Back in October, Connacht defeated Ulster in Belfast for the first time in 58 years. If they want to reach the PRO14 semi finals, they will have to repeat that dose. Win or lose, and Carty is determined it will be a win, he will break bread with his old half-back partner John Cooney.

"Yes, it's Cooney's house-warming party. Hopefully it won't be too awkward, either way.

"We're playing there on the Saturday and then staying up after it. There will be a few of the Ulster lads up at it."

Andrew Trimble may have played with Cooney at Ulster, last season, but the invite has not arrived yet (Trimble reckons it is because he is moving house!). Cooney's fellow scrum-half at Ulster, Dave Shanahan, is expecting invites will be doled out across the squad, at training, this week.

One hopes the winner is decided fair and square, and that there are not too many flare-ups, or there could be an uneasy moment, or two, at the Cooney soiree.