Connacht Head Coach Andy Friend has named a strong side to face near neighbours Munster on Saturday (Kick off 3pm), in the third and final fixture of Connacht’s pre-season preparations.
With an away trip to Scarlets in the opening round of the Guinness Pro14 next weekend, Connacht will be looking for a win in the Sportsground to add to victories over Oyonnax and the Russian National team over the past few weeks.
With Jack Carty away on World Cup duty in Japan, Conor Fitzgerald is named at out half with academy prospect Conor Dean named among the replacements. Caolin Blade will be Fitzgerald’s half back partner, with Kieran Marmion due to feature off the bench.
Tom Farrell and Kyle Godwin will start in midfield, while the back three sees Tiernan O’Halloran at full back with Matt Healy and Stephen Fitzgerald on the wings. Fitzgerald will be hoping to maintain the form he showed against Russia when he scored tries in against the World Cup side in Moscow.
Paddy McAllister is set for his first appearance in a Connacht jersey since signing from Gloucester in the summer. The loosehead is named in a front row alongside experienced hooker Tom McCartney and Finlay Bealham at tighthead.
In the second row, Gavin Thornbury will start alongside Quinn Roux with Ultan Dillane named on the bench. While the back row includes Eoghan Masterson and Colby Fainga’a at blindside and openside respectively with Captain Jarrad Butler at number 8.
The game kicks off in the Sportsground at 3pm and tickets are available to purchase from https://www.connachtrugby.ie/Tickets Connacht Matchday Squad:
(15-9) Tiernan O’Halloran, Stephen Fitzgerald, Kyle Godwin, Tom Farrell, Matt Healy, Conor Fitzgerald, Caolin Blade, (1-8) Paddy McAllister, Tom McCartney, Finlay Bealham, Gavin Thornbury, Quinn Roux, Eoghan Masterson, Colby Fainga’a, Jarrad Butler (Capt).
Replacements (16-23): Jonny Murphy, Denis Buckley, Dominic Robertson McCoy, Ultan Dillane, Eoin McKeon, Kieran Marmion, Conor Dean, John Porch, Paul Boyle, Peter Robb