Head Coach Mossy Lawler has named the Connacht Eagles side for tomorrow’s opening British and Irish Cup clash away to Rotherham Titans in Clifton Lane (2pm).

The strong selection includes a mix of senior and Connacht Academy players as Ireland international Niyi Adeolokun and Fiji international Naulia Dawai both return from injury to make their first appearances of the season.

The Connacht Academy, sponsored by NUIG, is well represented with Matthew Byrne at full back, Colm de Buitléar on the wing, Kieran Joyce at inside centre, Luke Carty at out-half, Peter Claffey in the second row, and both Paul Boyle and Harley Fox in the back row.

Senior players Adeolokun, Stacey Ili and Conor McKeon complete the backline.

An all-senior front row sees Dominic Robertson-McCoy and JP Cooney flank Ireland international hooker Dave Heffernan with lock Gavin Thornbury partnering Claffey in the engine room.

Senior hooker Pat O’Toole is among the replacements alongside Academy players Conor Kenny, Stephen Kerins and Adam Leavy.

Sub-academy out-half Morgan Codyre, Ireland U18 international international Cian Huxford and Niall Murray, last year’s Connacht U18 Player of the Year, complete the replacements.

Connacht Eagles: Matthew Byrne; Niyi Adeolokun, Stacey Ili, Kieran Joyce, Colm de Buitléar; Luke Carty, Conor McKeon; Dominic Robertson-McCoy, Dave Heffernan, JP Cooney; Gavin Thornbury, Peter Claffey; Naulia Dawai, Paul Boyle, Harley Fox.

Replacements: Pat O’Toole, Conor Kenny, Niall Murray, Cian Huxford, Stephen Kerins, Morgan Codyre, Adam Leavy.

Connacht Eagles B&I Cup Fixtures

Saturday, October 14

Rotherham v Connacht Eagles, Clifton Lane, 2pm;

Sunday, October 22

Connacht Eagles v Ealing Trailfinders, The Sportsground, 2pm;

Saturday, December 9

Richmond v Connacht Eagles, Athletic Ground, 3pm;

Sunday, December 17

Connacht Eagles v Richmond, The Sportsground, 2pm;

Saturday, January 13

Ealing Trailfinders v Connacht Eagles, Trailfinders Sports Ground, 3pm;

Weekend of Saturday, January 20

Connacht Eagles v Rotherham, The Sportsground, TBC;

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