The Connacht matchday squad has been named for tomorrow’s crucial URC meeting with DHL Stormers at The Sportsground (k/o 1pm).
 
There are four changes in all from the historic win over Scarlets last weekend. With Dave Heffernan and Jack Carty returning to Ireland duty, they’ve been replaced in the starting team by Shane Delahunt and Conor Fitzgerald respectively.
 
The other changes sees the return of Denis Buckley to the front row, while Alex Wootton comes onto the wing with John Porch moving to full-back.
 
The rest of the squad is unchanged, so Tietie Tuimauga, Niall Murray and Leva Fifita complete the tight five, while the back row consists of Cian Prendergast, captain Jarrad Butler and Paul Boyle.
 
Kieran Marmion remains at scrum-half, as do Tom Daly and Sammy Arnold in the centre. Peter Sullivan completes the side from the right wing.
 
The coaches have opted for a 6:2 split on the bench, with Abraham Papali’i wearing the number 23 jersey.
 
Commenting on the team announcement, Head Coach Andy Friend says:
 
“We are close to must-win territory for all our remaining games in the URC, so that’s why last week’s win was so important for us. We have done our scout on the Stormers and are very aware of the threats that they bring. We know that we will have to front up physically as they’re a big team.
 
We’re in a strong position in terms of available players outside the Irish contingent, so it’s a 23 I know are capable of a winning performance in front of our home fans.”
 
CONNACHT RUGBY MATCHDAY 23 VS DHL STORMERS
Saturday 26th February, 13:00 @ The Sportsground
 
Number/Name/Caps
15. John Porch (50)
14. Peter Sullivan (19)
13. Sammy Arnold (31)
12. Tom Daly (55)
11. Alex Wootton (23)
10. Conor Fitzgerald (46)
9. Kieran Marmion (200)
1. Denis Buckley (202)
2. Shane Delahunt (115)
3. Tietie Tuimauga (6)
4. Niall Murray (28)
5. Leva Fifita (8)
6. Cian Prendergast (22)
7. Jarrad Butler (88) (C)
8. Paul Boyle (68)

Replacements
16. Jonny Murphy (18)
17. Jordan Duggan (24)
18. Jack Aungier (24)
19. Oisin Dowling (18)
20. Conor Oliver (33)
21. Caolin Blade (142)
22. Tom Farrell (71)
23. Abraham Papali’i (19)

Tickets are now on General Sale for Connacht’s first three fixtures of 2022, all of which fall on three consecutive Saturdays at The Sportsground.
 
First up is a New Year’s Day interpro with Munster – an annual game which is always one of the hottest tickets in town. Kick-off will be at 5.15pm.
 
A week later on Saturday 8th January we welcome another of the newest arrivals from South Africa with the DHL Stormers visiting the West. That one gets underway at the slightly earlier time of 3pm.
 
Then on Saturday 15th January it’s the visit of Leicester Tigers to The Sportsground in what’s set to be a huge Heineken Champions Cup fixture, and will go a long way to determining which teams make it to the knockout stages. Kick-off there is at 3.15pm.
 
 
BUY MUNSTER MATCH TICKETS HERE
 
BUY STORMERS MATCH TICKETS HERE
 
BUY LEICESTER TIGERS MATCH TICKETS HERE

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