Five Connacht players will represent the province for the first time in tomorrow’s pre-season friendly away to Castres (k/o 7pm Irish time).
Grant Stewart, Shamus Hurley-Langton, David Hawkshaw, Byron Ralston and Adam Byrne have all been selected in the starting XV for the first outing of the campaign.
Ralston partners Tom Daly in the centre who captains the side, while Byrne is selected on the wing with Alex Wootton on the opposite wing and Oran McNulty at full-back. Hawkshaw starts at out-half with scrum-half Caolin Blade alongside him.
Ciaran Booth and Hurley-Langton are selected at blindside and openside respectively with Sean Masterson at number 8. Niall Murray and Oisín Dowling are paired together in the second row, and the squad is completed by props Denis Buckley and Dominic Robertson-McCoy.
11 players are named among the replacements, five of whom are in the Academy. They are Eoin de Buitléar, Josh O’Connor, Charlie Ward, Bart Vermeulen and Donnacha Byrne.
Wednesday 24th August @ Stade de la Chevaliére, Mazamet (k/o 19:00 Irish time)
15. Oran McNulty
14. Adam Byrne
13. Byron Ralston
12. Tom Daly (c)
11. Alex Wootton
10. David Hawkshaw
9. Caolin Blade
1. Denis Buckley
2. Grant Stewart
3. Dominic Robertson-McCoy
4. Niall Murray
5. Oisín Dowling
6. Ciaran Booth
7. Shamus Hurley-Langton
8. Seán Masterson

16. Eoin de Buitléar
17. Matthew Burke
18. Sam Illo
19. Darragh Murray
20. Oisín McCormack
21. Colm Reilly
22. Shane Jennings
23. Josh O’Connor
24. Charlie Ward
25. Bart Vermeulen
26. Donnacha Byrne

Connacht Rugby can announce the club have signed Scottish hooker Grant Stewart on a short term, six-month contract.
Stewart arrives at The Sportsground to provide further injury cover and depth for the #2 jersey.
The 27-year old spent 5 years at Glasgow Warriors, scoring 9 tries across 48 appearances. Having represented Scotland at underage level, he also went on to make his senior international debut against France in 2019.
Commenting on his signing, Andy Friend says:
“We have three quality hookers in the squad in Dave Heffernan, Shane Delahunt and Dylan Tierney-Martin. However with Dave now a regular Ireland squad member and Shane unfortunately absent through injury for a little while longer, we’re now a little light in the position. So I’m very pleased we have been able to sign a player of Grant’s calibre and we have begun to integrate him into the squad this week, well in time for the start of the new season.”


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