Connacht squad named for 2024 opener with Munster

30 December 2023

Connacht squad named for 2024 opener with Munster

The Connacht matchday 23 has been named for Monday’s New Year’s Day clash with Munster at a sold-out Sportsground (k/o 3pm).

There are six changes from the side that started the narrow loss to Ulster before Christmas, with Peter Dooley, Dave Heffernan, Joe Joyce, Jarrad Butler, JJ Hanrahan and Cathal Forde coming into the starting XV,

Caolin Blade captains the side from scrum-half, while the management team have opted for a 6:2 split on the bench with the fit-again Oisín Dowling included as well as Niall Murray and Conor Oliver. Also among the replacements is club captain Jack Carty.

Commenting ahead of the game, head coach Pete Wilkins says:

“Munster arrive at the Sportsground as URC champions so we are fully aware of their quality and the challenge that awaits us. However we have been steadily improving different aspects of our game over the last few weeks and arrive ourselves with enormous determination to turn around our recent run of results.

Every interpro is a massive occasion, but a sold-out Sportsground on New Year’s Day will make the game even more special for the 23 we have picked to represent us this week. Everyone involved can’t wait to get out there and deliver a big performance for our supporters.”

With a capacity crowd expected, supporters are encouraged to travel to the ground in good time and only make their way to the stadium if they have a valid ticket. Gates will be open at 1.30pm.

15:00, Monday 1st January 2024 @ The Sportsground

15. Mack Hansen (31)
14. Byron Ralston (25)
13. Cathal Forde (20)
12. Bundee Aki (130)
11. Shayne Bolton (7)
10. JJ Hanrahan (9)
9. Caolin Blade (180) (C)
1. Peter Dooley (26)
2. Dave Heffernan (187)
3. Finlay Bealham (195)
4. Darragh Murray (17)
5. Joe Joyce (8)
6. Cian Prendergast (56)
7. Shamus Hurley-Langton (28)
8. Jarrad Butler (119)

16. Dylan Tierney-Martin (31)
17. Denis Buckley (237)
18. Jack Aungier (58)
19. Niall Murray (64)
20. Oisín Dowling (50)
21. Michael McDonald (2)
22. Jack Carty (201)
23. Conor Oliver (72)