New signing Jarrad Butler is set to make his competitive debut for Connacht on Saturday in the opening round of the Guinness PRO14 Championship against Glasgow Warriors in the Sportsground at 7.35pm. Bundee Aki also returns to the side in a midfield partnership with Eoin Griffin as Connacht aim to get off to a winning start under new Head Coach Kieran Keane.

 

The team is further strengthened by the inclusion of five Irish internationals. Denis Buckley, Finlay Bealham and Ultan Dillane start in the front five. While Kieran Marmion starts at scrum half where he renews his half back pairing with Jack Carty.

 

John Muldoon captains the side at number 8 in his 15th season with his native province. Eoghan Masterson joins him in the back row for the Championship opener along with debutant Butler.

 

Speaking to reporters ahead of his first competitive game in the Sportsground, where he faces his former colleague Dave Rennie, Connacht Head Coach Kieran Keane said: “It’s ironic that we face Dave’s Glasgow side in my first game in charge. They will be playing an open expansive style of rugby as will we.  There was an incredible atmosphere for our pre-season game at home to Bristol last week,.I’m sure the guys will get a massive reception when they take to the field again on Saturday evening”.

 

A limited number of tickets are still available for the game on Saturday with savings of up to 15% available when purchased online.

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Kick-off 7.35pm:
(15-9) Darragh Leader, Cian Kelleher, Eoin Griffin, Bundee Aki, Matt Healy, Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion, (1-8) Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney, Finlay Bealham, Ultan Dillane, James Cannon, Eoghan Masterson, Jarrad Butler, John Muldoon

Replacements (16-23): Shane Delahunt, Peter McCabe, Conor Carey, Sean O’Brien, Eoin McKeon, Conor McKeon, Craig Ronaldson, Tom Farrell.

 

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Connacht Squad Update: Friday 24th July