Connacht side named for Saturday’s Brive game

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Photo: INPHO/Connacht Rugby

Connacht are aiming for a spot in the knockout stages of the EPCR Challenge Cup with their homefield game against Brive this weekend.

Connacht will play the French side at the Sportsground this Saturday, with kick-off at 5:30pm, where a win will guarantee them a spot in the knockout stages.

Director of Rugby Andy Friend said, “We’ve set ourselves a target of reaching the knockout stages of the Challenge Cup and then reassess from there, so our goal is to complete that first step tomorrow.”

“Brive have hit a bit of form since we last played them, so we’re well aware that we will need to put in a strong performance if we’re to realise that goal.”

The 9-10-12 axis is fully homegrown, with Colm Reilly starting alongside captain Jack Carty, while Galway’s Cathal Forde retains his place at inside centre.

Byron Ralston is named alongside him, while the back three includes a start for Mack Hansen at full-back and Alex Wootton and John Porch on the wings.

There are three internationals in the pack with Dave Heffernan, Finlay Bealham and Cian Prendergast.

Peter Dooley joins Heffernan and Bealham in the front row while there’s a second row partnership of Josh Murphy and Niall Murray.

The side is completed by openside flanker Conor Oliver and the fit-again number 8 Jarrad Butler.

“The weather suggests it’s going to be another windy afternoon, so hopefully we can take some of the lessons from last weekend in how to best use the conditions that tend to prevail here in Galway,” Andy Friend said.

The full Connacht side for tomorrow’s game against Brive is:

15. Mack Hansen (22)
14. John Porch (71)
13. Byron Ralston (10)
12. Cathal Forde (5)
11. Alex Wootton (38)
10. Jack Carty (189) (C)
9. Colm Reilly (15)
1. Peter Dooley (11)
2. Dave Heffernan (176)
3. Finlay Bealham (183)
4. Josh Murphy (9)
5. Niall Murray (46)
6. Cian Prendergast (38)
7. Conor Oliver (52)
8. Jarrad Butler (105)

16. Dylan Tierney-Martin (13)
17. Jordan Duggan (32)
18. Jack Aungier (41)
19. Leva Fifita (20)
20. Ciaran Booth (3)
21. Kieran Marmion (221)
22. Tom Daly (69)
23. Conor Fitzgerald (61)