Ireland internationals Bundee Aki and Kieran Marmion have returned to the Connacht starting XV to face Gloucester in the Challenge Cup quarter-final in the Sportsground on Saturday (kick-off 1pm).

It is set to be a fitting homecoming for Aki and Marmion along with fellow internationals Quinn Roux and Ultan Dillane as the Six Nations trophies will be displayed to the crowd for the clash with the English Premiership side.

The game will be a significant milestone for Jack Carty and Dave Heffernan as both are poised to make their 100th appearances for their province. Roscommon man Carty starts at out-half alongside Kieran Marmion while Ballina native Heffernan is named as replacement hooker.

Bundee Aki’s return sees him renew his centre partnership with Tom Farrell. They are included in a back line that features an unchanged back three of Tiernan O’Halloran at full-back and Niyi Adeolokun and Matt Healy on the wings. Healy has been in incredible form in the Challenge Cup this season with eights tries so far in the competition.

Speaking ahead of the game Connacht Head Coach Kieran Keane said his side will face a massive challenge against the English side. “We have had a really close look at them and how they have been playing. I think they have a very similar approach to the game as we do so it’s going to be a tough game for both sides and both teams will fancy their chances”, Keane said.

“The home advantage will be big for us. Our supporters have been fantastic this season and have made the Sportsground a really difficult place to travel for away teams. I know they will give us another lift again tomorrow and the boys are determined to give them something to shout about”, Keane added.

#CONvGLO

Kick-off 1pm:

(15-9) Tiernan O’Halloran, Niyi Adeolokun, Bundee Aki, Tom Farrell, Matt Healy, Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion, (1-8) Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney, Finlay Bealham, Gavin Thornbury, Quinn Roux, Eoin McKeon, Jarrad Butler, John Muldoon (Capt).

Replacements (16-23): Dave Heffernan, Peter McCabe, Conor Carey, Ultan Dillane, Eoghan Masterson, Caolin Blade, Craig Ronaldson, Darragh Leader.

Tickets Update

Fans who have yet to purchase tickets for the game are being asked to note that only Bohermore Terrace tickets are now available, and can be purchased here.

Related

Bundee Aki signs three year contract extension to remain at Connacht up to 2023