Clarke named for first derby clash

Head Coach Pat Lam has named his side to face Ulster tomorrow night at the Sportsground (KO 6:45pm) and there are three changes to the starting XV from last week.

New signing Craig Clarke will take his place in the second row for the first derby clash of the season with provincial rivals Ulster.  The 30-year-old lock will start alongside skipper Michael Swift.

Clarke’s fellow New Zealander Jake Heenan will also make his first start for Connacht tomorrow night. The 21-year-old former Baby Blacks captain comes into the back row at number 6 as John Muldoon moves to Number 8.

Steve Macauley 16/9/2013There is just one change to the backs with Fionn Carr, who missed last week’s game against Cardiff, returning to right wing.

Speaking about the team selection and the upcoming fixture, Head Coach Pat Lam said:

“It’s a big boost for the team to have Craig available to start. It’s been a frustrating time for him with injury but he came through the week well and is raring to go.

Jake made a big impact coming off the bench in the last two games and his selection gives us an energetic back row.  

Fionn trained well this week and returns to the wing.

We’re all really looking forward to the first interprovincial game where both the teams and supporters will bring a lot of passion to the Sportsground.”

Connacht line-up v Ulster

15.          Gavin Duffy
14.          Fionn Carr
13.          Robbie Henshaw
12.          Eoin Griffin
11.          Matt Healy
10.          Dan Parks
9.            Kieran Marmion


1.            Brett Wilkinson
2.            Jason Harris-Wright
3.            Nathan White
4.            Michael Swift (captain)
5.            Craig Clarke
6.            Jake Heenan
7.            Willie Faloon
8.            John Muldoon


16. Sean Henry
17. Rodney Ah You
18. Ronan Loughney
19. Aly Muldowney
20. George Naoupu
21. Paul O’Donohoe
22. Craig Ronaldson
23. Danie Poolman

Unavailable / Injured: Denis Buckley, Conor Finn, Eoin McKeon, Shane Layden, Tadhg Leader, Dave McSharry, Miah Nikora, James So’oialo, Kyle Tonetti, and Marcus Walsh
Connacht v Ulster
Saturday 21st September
At the Sportsground, 6.45pm.                     
Referee: John Lacey (IRFU, 30th competition game)
Assistant Referees: Kieran Barry, John Carvill (both IRFU)
Citing Commissioner: John Cole (IRFU)
TMO: Kevin Beggs (IRFU)

While the Clan Terrace is now sold out for Connacht v Ulster, tickets for the Main Stand are available online from, from the Connacht Rugby office, and from Centra and SuperValu stores province-wide.

Tickets bought from the Connacht Rugby office are €25 for adults and €5 for children (aged 4 – 17). For a full list of ticket prices click here.


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