The Connacht management team have made five changes to the starting XV for tomorrow’s eagerly awaited BKT United Rugby Championship clash with Leinster at The Sportsground (k/o 7.35pm).
 
Four of those changes come in the pack where Peter Dooley, Niall Murray, Josh Murphy and Paul Boyle all come into the side, while there’s also a first start of the season for scrum-half Colm Reilly.
 
Dooley is joined by Dave Heffernan and Finlay Bealham in the front row while lock Gavin Thornbury completes the tight five. Shamus Hurley-Langton moves to openside flanker with Murphy at #6 and Boyle at #8.
 
The rest of the squad is unchanged meaning Jack Carty, David Hawkshaw and Conor Fitzgerald all start at out-half, inside-centre and full-back respectively. Byron Ralston, Mack Hansen and John Porch complete the side.
 
The management team have kept to a 6:2 split on the bench with the fit-again Caolin Blade and Academy graduate Ciaran Booth among the options.
 
Commenting on the team selection, Director of Rugby Andy Friend says:
 
“Last Fridays victory over Munster saw a much improved overall performance by us that is far more aligned to what we know we’re capable of as a team. We now have to use that as a springboard for the rest of the season, and tomorrow is another brilliant opportunity to test ourselves against some of the best in Europe.
 
The atmosphere at The Sportsground last week was incredible and I know that our supporters will give us the same again and more tomorrow night.”

 
CONNACHT RUGBY MATCHDAY SQUAD VS LEINSTER RUGBY
Friday 14th October 2022, 19:35 @ The Sportsground
 
Number/Name/Caps
15. Conor Fitzgerald (56)
14. John Porch (63)
13. Byron Ralston (4)
12. David Hawkshaw (4)
11. Mack Hansen (17)
10. Jack Carty (181) (C)
9. Colm Reilly (11)
1. Peter Dooley (4)
2. Dave Heffernan (169)
3. Finlay Bealham (177)
4. Niall Murray (38)
5. Gavin Thornbury (66)
6. Josh Murphy (4)
7. Shamus Hurley-Langton (4)
8. Paul Boyle (76)

16. Grant Stewart (2)
17. Denis Buckley (212)
18. Jack Aungier (35)
19. Oisín Dowling (28)
20. Conor Oliver (44)
21. Caolin Blade (152)
22. Tom Daly (64)
23. Ciaran Booth (1)

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