Matthew Burke, Paul Boyle and Ben O’Donnell have been drafted into the starting XV for Saturday’s URC meeting with the Dragons at The Sportsground (k/o 5.15pm).
 
It’s a first appearance of the season for O’Donnell, who forms an exciting back three with winger Mack Hansen and full-back Tiernan O’Halloran.
 
The remaining backs are unchanged for the third straight game, with Kieran Marmion and Jack Carty at 9 and 10 respectively and Tom Daly and Tom Farrell pairing together at centre.
 
Ballinrobe man Matthew Burke comes into the front row with Dave Heffernan and Finlay Bealham, while locks Oisin Dowling and Ultan Dillane also start together for the third week in a row.
 
The side is completed by flankers Cian Prendergast and captain Jarrad Butler, with Boyle wearing the number 8 shirt.
 
Head Coach Andy Friend says:
 
“Last week was very pleasing not just because of the result, but the performance gave everyone the confidence that we’re heading in the right direction. We know more than anyone that we now need to replicate that level consistently. Dragons are a tough team to play against and showed that against Leinster last week, so we’ll need to be at the top of our game.”
 
CONNACHT RUGBY MATCHDAY 23 VS DRAGONS RUGBY
Saturday 9th October, The Sportsground @ 17:15
 
Number/Name/Caps
15. Tiernan O’Halloran (192)
14. Ben O’Donnell (6)
13. Tom Farrell (64)
12. Tom Daly (51)
11. Mack Hansen (2)
10. Jack Carty (161)
9. Kieran Marmion (189)
1. Matthew Burke (25)
2. Dave Heffernan (146)
3. Finlay Bealham (161)
4. Oisin Dowling (9)
5. Ultan Dillane (116)
6. Cian Prendergast (12)
7. Jarrad Butler (75) (C)
8. Paul Boyle (59)

16. Shane Delahunt (102)
17. Jordan Duggan (15)
18. Jack Aungier (15)
19. Leva Fifita (1)
20. Conor Oliver (22)
21. Caolin Blade (132)
22. Conor Fitzgerald (37)
23. Sammy Arnold (18)

Related

Connacht side named for Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup opener with Ulster