Connacht head coach Andy Friend says Bulls director of rugby Jake White was "ill-informed" with his comments prior to their meeting in Galway last Friday, adding that it's part of a wider disrespect shown towards Connacht by the rugby community.

The Bulls director angered many Connacht supporters when speaking pitchside before their 34-7 defeat to the Irish team, when he suggested that many of the province's players use the club as a back-door route to bigger and better things.

White (below) said: "A lot of Leinster players who come down from Leinster, obviously the guys that didn't get contracts there come down here.

"It’s very similar to a couple of franchises we have in South Africa. When they don’t get contracted by the big unions they go down to the small provinces and then obviously find a way in which they can get noticed by the bigger provinces."

And while the Connacht head coach said he and his players didn't hear those comments pre-match, they did become aware of them in the days following the game.

Friend said his Bulls counterpart was "ill-informed" with his comments, but the Connacht head coach seemed more frustrated by the continued disrespect shown towards his team by the wider rugby audience.

"No, it's not isolated and unfortunately people look at Connacht down the end of their nose and don't really pay us too much respect, which we need to change and we're aware of that," he said.

"I just thought Jake's comments were ill-informed, to be honest with you.

"Yes, we have Leinster players, as does every team in the country. If you check out Ulster, Munster, they've got Leinster players too because that's where the bulk of the population is in Ireland, it's in Dublin, so you can only fit a certain amount of players into their squad."

Friend (above) went on to give a passionate defence of his province's production of home-grown talent, adding that while several players may have originated in the Leinster schools system, they are still coming through the Connacht academy structures.

"So there's going to be a transition of players into other squads but we really pride ourselves on our homegrown players, of which we had Dave Heffernan, Jack Carty and Tiernan O'Halloran all starting on the weekend, we had Matt Burke and Caolan Blade coming off the bench," Friend said.

"In the 23 we had three of our own homegrown and then a lot of other players who have come through our academy, so they may have originated in Leinster but they come down to our academy and work really hard with the likes of Eric Elwood and at the moment Mark Sexton and Andrew Browne, but also Colly Tucker and Mossy Lawler, who have been through that programme.

"I just thought it was an ill-informed comment. It didn't bode well for him. We're proud of what we're doing here, there's opportunity for people to come down here.

"But certainly I don't think it should be seen as a B-grade option for players. It's another professional outfit and I suppose by the end of the year we'll be able to tell you where we sit in that pecking order of one to four."

Meanwhile, Connacht also confirmed the signing of loosehead prop Tietie Tuimauga for the remainder of the season.

As reported by RTÉ Sport this morning the 28-year-old Samoan will link up with the side in the next few weeks, pending international clearance.