The Connacht management team have named their matchday squad for tomorrow’s EPCR Challenge Cup meeting with Brive at The Sportsground (k/o 5.30pm).
 
A win would guarantee Connacht a spot in the knockout stages, and as such Head Coach Pete Wilkins has selected a strong starting XV for the game.
 
The 9-10-12 axis is fully homegrown, with Colm Reilly starting alongside captain Jack Carty, while Galway’s Cathal Forde retains his place at inside centre. Byron Ralston is named alongside him, while the back three includes a start for Mack Hansen at full-back and Alex Wootton and John Porch on the wings.
 
There are three internationals in the pack with Dave Heffernan, Finlay Bealham and Cian Prendergast. Peter Dooley joins Heffernan and Bealham in the front row while there’s a second row partnership of Josh Murphy and Niall Murray. The side is completed by openside flanker Conor Oliver and the fit-again number 8 Jarrad Butler.
 
Commenting on the team selection, Director of Rugby Andy Friend says:
 
“We’ve set ourselves a target of reaching the knockout stages of the Challenge Cup and then reassess from there, so our goal is to complete that first step tomorrow. Brive have hit a bit of form since we last played them, so we’re well aware that we will need to put in a strong performance if we’re to realise that goal.
 
The weather suggests it’s going to be another windy afternoon, so hopefully we can take some of the lessons from last weekend in how to best use the conditions that tend to prevail here in Galway.”

 
CONNACHT RUGBY MATCHDAY 23 VS CA BRIVE
Saturday 14th January, 17:30 @ The Sportsground

Number/Name/Caps
15. Mack Hansen (22)
14. John Porch (71)
13. Byron Ralston (10)
12. Cathal Forde (5)
11. Alex Wootton (38)
10. Jack Carty (189) (C)
9. Colm Reilly (15)
1. Peter Dooley (11)
2. Dave Heffernan (176)
3. Finlay Bealham (183)
4. Josh Murphy (9)
5. Niall Murray (46)
6. Cian Prendergast (38)
7. Conor Oliver (52)
8. Jarrad Butler (105)

Replacements
16. Dylan Tierney-Martin (13)
17. Jordan Duggan (32)
18. Jack Aungier (41)
19. Leva Fifita (20)
20. Ciaran Booth (3)
21. Kieran Marmion (221)
22. Tom Daly (69)
23. Conor Fitzgerald (61)

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