The Connacht Eagles team, sponsored by NUI Galway, has been named for Saturday’s final round British & Irish Cup tie with Bristol Rugby at the Sportsground, kick off 2pm. Head Coach Nigel Carolan has selected a side that shows seven personnel changes from the team that lined out against Pontypridd RFC in Wales last weekend.

Academy outhalf Conor McKeon has been handed the reins at outhalf in a back line that sees two other changes with David Panter and Ciaran Gaffney both featuring.

Up front, Jack Dinneen and Conal O’Donnell start in the front row with loose head prop Jacob Walshe continuing in the number 1 jersey from last week. Behind them, Cian Romaine has been promoted from the bench to join the ever-present Ultan Dillane in the second row. Mata Fifita starts at blindside flanker in a back row with Rory Molony and captain Eoghan Masterson.

Pool leaders Bristol will come in search of the win they need to be certain of a home quarter-final. The English side extended their winning run to 13 matches with a 22-14 victory over London Scottish in Round 5. Bristol outscored Connacht eight tries to four in front of a record B&I Cup crowd when the sides met in Round 1. Olly Robinson, son of head coach Andy, scored a hat-trick on his competitive debut for the club while the Eagles secured a try bonus point that day with Masterson (2), Fionn Carr and Caolin Blade all crossing.

The Eagles have won one from two games played at home so far this season and a win over Bristol tomorrow afternoon could see them lift themselves off the bottom of pool 1.

Connacht Eagles team to face Bristol Rugby:
15 David Panter
14 Ciaran Gaffney
13 Rory Parata
12 Peter Robb
11 Shane O’Leary
10 Conor McKeon
9 John Cooney

1 Jacob Walshe
2 Jack Dinneen
3 Conan O’Donnell
4 Cian Romaine
5 Ultan Dillane
6 Mata Fifita
7 Rory Moloney
8 Eoghan Masterson (captain)

REPLACEMENTS

16 Paul O’Donnell
17 Conor Kyne
18 Marc Kelly
19 Stephen McVeigh
20 Conor Lowndes
21 Aidan Moyniahan
22 Dwayne Corcoran

Connacht Eagles v Bristol Rugby
Saturday December 13th
The Sportsground
Kick off 2pm

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Powerful Connacht performance secures bonus point win over conference rivals Cardiff