Connacht Head Coach Kieran Keane has named his starting XV for Friday night’s eagerly awaited interprovincial clash with Munster at the Sportsground (7.35pm).

John Muldoon returns to captain the side with Kieran Marmion, Ultan Dillane, Finlay Bealham, Tom McCartney, Tom Farrell, Jarrad Butler and Cian Kelleher also coming into the starting team.

Tiernan O’Halloran starts at full-back with Darragh Leader and Kelleher on the two flanks. Farrell joins Bundee Aki in the centre as Marmion and Jack Carty form the half-back partnership.

Bealham, McCartney and Denis Buckley make up the front row with Dillane and James Cannon in the second row. Muldoon’s return sees him wear the number 8 jersey with Eoin McKeon in at blindside and Jarrad Butler at openside.

Niyi Adeolokun is named in the matchday 23 for the first time this season as he returns from injury.

Speaking ahead of the clash, Kieran Keane said: “There has been constant improvement from the lads, which has been refreshing for us. It has become pretty clear to me these local derbies are really important to the players, and they have been putting their hands up because they really want to play, so it brings excitement. I am excited by the occasion as much as they are.”

Due to the very high demand for tickets, additional terracing is being installed at the Sportsground to cater for the increased capacity.

#CONvMUN

Kick-off 7.35pm:

(15-9) Tiernan O’Halloran, Darragh Leader, Bundee Aki, Tom Farrell, Cian Kelleher, Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion, (1-8) Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney, Finlay Bealham; Ultan Dillane, James Cannon; Eoin McKeon, Jarrad Butler, John Muldoon (Capt).

Replacements (16-23): Dave Heffernan, Denis Coulson, Conor Carey, Quinn Roux, Eoghan Masterson, Caolin Blade, Craig Ronaldson, Niyi Adeolokun.

Head Coach Mossy Lawler has named the Connacht Eagles side for Sunday’s British and Irish Cup clash against high-flying Ealing Trailfinders at the Sportsground (2pm).

Andrew Deegan, Rory Scholes and captain JP Cooney are among the players drafted into the side.

Once again, the strong selection includes a mix of senior and Connacht Academy players as Ireland international Niyi Adeolokun and Fiji international Naulia Dawai both maintain their places.

Out-half Deegan partners Conor McKeon at half-back with Scholes starting on the left wing as Stacey Ili maintains his place at outside centre.

The Connacht Academy, sponsored by NUIG, is well represented with Matthew Byrne at full back, Kieran Joyce at inside centre, Peter Claffey in the second row, and both Paul Boyle and Harley Fox in the back row.

An all-senior front row sees Denis Coulson and Cooney flank Pat O’Toole with lock Gavin Thornbury partnering Claffey in the engine room.

Scrum-half James Mitchell is set to make his return from injury off the bench with three Academy players among the replacements – out-half Luke Carty, back three player Adam Leavy and prop Conor Kenny.

Ireland U18 internationals Cian Huxford and Callum Torpey (Exile) complete the bench along with Niall Murray, last year’s Connacht U18 Player of the Year.

It is set to be a very tough task against an Ealing Trailfinders side that are flying high in the Championship with five wins from six.

They made a superb start to the B&I Cup campaign thanks to a 67-12 win over Richmond last week and former Connacht out-half Shane O’Leary is among their ranks.

Admission to this game for Season Ticket holders and under-12s is free of charge.

General admission is €5.

Connacht Eagles: Matthew Byrne; Niyi Adeolokun, Stacey Ili, Kieran Joyce, Rory Scholes; Andrew Deegan, Conor McKeon; Denis Coulson, Pat O’Toole, JP Cooney (Capt); Peter Claffey, Gavin Thornbury; Paul Boyle, Naulia Dawai, Harley Fox.

Replacements: Callum Torpey, Conor Kenny, Niall Murray, Cian Huxford, James Mitchell, Luke Carty, Adam Leavy.

 

Connacht Eagles B&I Cup Fixtures & Results

Saturday, October 14

Rotherham 28-23 Connacht Eagles, Clifton Lane;

Sunday, October 22

Connacht Eagles v Ealing Trailfinders, The Sportsground, 2pm;

Saturday, December 9

Richmond v Connacht Eagles, Athletic Ground, 3pm;

Sunday, December 17

Connacht Eagles v Richmond, The Sportsground, 2pm;

Saturday, January 13

Ealing Trailfinders v Connacht Eagles, Trailfinders Sports Ground, 3pm;

Weekend of Saturday, January 20

Connacht Eagles v Rotherham, The Sportsground, TBC;

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