The Connacht side has been named ahead of tomorrow’s clash with reigning BKT URC champions DHL Stormers in Stellenbosch (k/o 1.30pm Irish time).
 
In total there are nine changes from the side that lost to Ulster, with six of those among the forwards. There’s a new front row of Denis Buckley, Dylan Tierney-Martin and Finlay Bealham, and a new second row partnership of Niall Murray and Josh Murphy who moves from blindside flanker.
 
Cian Prendergast and captain for the day Jarrad Butler come onto the flanks with Paul Boyle retained at number 8.
 
Caolin Blade is named at scrum-half with out-half Conor Fitzgerald for company, while the back line includes starts for Mack Hansen and Oran McNulty. Hansen starts on the left wing with John Porch on the opposite wing and McNulty at full-back, while the centre partnership consists of Tom Farrell and Byron Ralston.
 
The squad arrived in Cape Town on Tuesday and today travel to Stellenbosch where the game will take place. The squad will remain there until Thursday when they fly to Pretoria for the next week’s game with the Vodacom Bulls.
 
Commenting on the team announcement, Director of Rugby Andy Friend says:
 
‘We’ve had a positive week so far in South Africa. After arriving on Tuesday, we’ve managed to get the required training done and we’re in a good space heading into our game against the Stormers.
 
I don’t believe that our performance against Ulster was reflective of all the hard work we’d put in during pre-season, and I’m very confident that we’ll deliver a much improved performance on Saturday against last year’s champions.
 
CONNACHT RUGBY MATCHDAY SQUAD VS DHL STORMERS
Saturday 24th September 2022, 13:30 Irish time / 14:30 South Africa time @ Danie Craven Stadium
 
Number/Name/Caps ( * denotes uncapped)
15. Oran McNulty (9)
14. John Porch (60)
13. Byron Ralston (1)
12. Tom Farrell (80)
11. Mack Hansen (14)
10. Conor Fitzgerald (54)
9. Caolin Blade (151)
1. Denis Buckley (209)
2. Dylan Tierney-Martin (7)
3. Finlay Bealham (174)
4. Josh Murphy (1)
5. Niall Murray (36)
6. Cian Prendergast (31)
7. Jarrad Butler (95)
8. Paul Boyle (74)

16. Dave Heffernan (166)
17. Peter Dooley (1)
18. Jack Aungier (32)
19. Oisín Dowling (25)
20. Shamus Hurley-Langton (1)
21. Kieran Marmion (210)
22. Bundee Aki (118)
23. David Hawkshaw (1)

The Connacht management team have selected a 28-man squad that will travel to South Africa today ahead of Saturday’s BKT United Rugby Championship fixture against the DHL Stormers.
 
Irish internationals Bundee Aki, Mack Hansen and Finlay Bealham are included and available for selection, as is Jarrad Butler who has recovered from injury.
 
Also included are four players who were selected in the Emerging Ireland squad – Caolin Blade, Sam Illo, Cian Prendergast and Dylan Tierney-Martin. The quartet will be available for selection on Saturday before then joining up with the Emerging Ireland squad in Bloemfontein.
 
Further players will fly to South Africa later in the week ahead of the fixture against the Vodacom Bulls on Friday 30th September, and they will be announced in due course.
 
CONNACHT TRAVELLING SQUAD VS DHL STORMERS (SATURDAY 24TH SEPTEMBER)
 
Forwards (17)
Jack Aungier
Finlay Bealham
Ciaran Booth
Paul Boyle
Denis Buckley
Jarrad Butler
Peter Dooley
Oisín Dowling
Leva Fifita
Dave Heffernan
Shamus Hurley-Langton
Sam Illo
Josh Murphy
Niall Murray
Cian Prendergast
Grant Stewart
Dylan Tierney-Martin

Backs (11)
Bundee Aki
Caolin Blade
Tom Daly
Tom Farrell
Conor Fitzgerald
Mack Hansen
David Hawkshaw
Kieran Marmion
Oran McNulty
John Porch
Byron Ralston

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