Andy Friend says Bundee Aki has learned his lesson, after escaping a suspension for his conduct towards referee Mathieu Raynal on Saturday.

The centre angrily confronted the French official after he awarded a late try to the Leicester Tigers, with Aki claiming the Tigers scorer Hosea Soumaki had been in touch.

However, replays showed the referee and TMO were correct, with Aki issuing a swift apology shortly after the game.

The quick apology will likely have helped him avoid any further punishment with the EPCR yesterday giving him a citing commissioner's warning, clearing him to play this Sunday's final pool game against Stade Francais in Paris.

"I know Bundee was upset with himself with that, so I think a warning is fair to say, 'be careful', because we're all role models," Connacht head coach Andy Friend said yesterday.

"It's one of the great things of the game of rugby, it's played in the right spirit. It's competitive, it's fierce, but at the same time it's respectful and if you step across that line of a lack of respect you need to be slapped on the knuckles. He'll wear that one.

"I think Bundee knew that he had let his emotions get the better of him on Saturday. Again, that's how much it means to these blokes."

The Australian added that Aki came forward with the apology himself, rather than at the behest of management.

"I certainly didn't chase him on that one, he put it out himself. He knew that he had done wrong.

"He's been around a lot of matches where we lose at the tail end of it, and I respect that he has that energy and passion, he just needs to be better controlled, which he knows himself."

Connacht look set to welcome back Mack Hansen (below) from injury this week for their trip to Paris on Sunday.

The winger, who was included in Andy Farrell's Ireland squad for the Six Nations, has missed all three European games this season due to a calf injury, but is back in training this week and will be available for selection.

Also available is Finlay Bealham, who left Saturday's defeat to Leicester early in the second half with injury, but Jack Aungier has been ruled out of the game against Stade. Aungier - who had replaced Bealham at the Sportsground - picked up a rib injury, and will sit out the trip to Stade Jean-Bouin.

As things stand, a losing bonus point will be enough to see Connacht qualify for the knockout stage of the competition for the very first time, but their qualification could be sealed before they even travel to Paris, with Castres needing a bonus point win away to Harlequins to stand any chance of leapfrogging them.

But Friend says their aim is to go to France and win, rather than "limp" their way into the Round of 16.

He said: "I actually don't want us to be a team that... okay, we want to get out of the pool and into the knockout stages, but I'd much prefer to do that knowing that we went two wins out of four and picked up two or three bonus points out of the other two games, I'd be really proud of that.

"I'd still be proud that we got in, but I don't want us to be a team that limps in. I want us to be a team that gets in on our own merit, and all the boys would be the same.

"All we know is we have to turn up to Paris on Sunday, we need to play our best brand of rugby and if we do that and we put out a really good performance I truly believe we can win and that's all we're going to focus on.

"We're going to pick a team for a 4G pitch, we're going to need to be fast and be stronger in our set-piece, we need to pick a team that can express that and show that."

Follow Bath v Leinster (Saturday, 1pm), Ulster v Clermont (Saturday, 5.30pm), Stade v Connacht (Sunday, 1pm) and Munster v Wasps (Sunday, 3.15pm) via our live blogs on rte.ie/sport or on the RTÉ News App, or listen to live radio coverage of Bath v Leinster on RTÉ Radio 1 Extra and RTÉ Radio 1.