Connacht squad named for Champions Cup opener

Galway Daily rugby Four changes made to starting XV for Connacht v Glasgow

Connacht Rugby have named their squad for their opening match in the Heineken Champions Cup this weekend against Stade Francais.

The French side are coming to Galway for the fixture, where they will face Connacht this Sunday at 1pm in the Sportsground.

Five changes have been made to the lineup which lost to Leinster last weekend.

The biggest shift is in the forwards, where four additions have been made to the starting players.

Shane Delahunt comes into the starting XV, forming a front row with props Matthew Burke and Finlay Bealham.

There’s a new look second row of Oisín Dowling and Niall Murray, while Cian Prendergast is also named in the squad, starting at blindside flanker with Conor Oliver and number 8 Jarrad Butler alongside him.

The one other change being made is in the centre, where Shane Boylan is starting at number 13 alongside Sammy Arnold on the inside.

The back line is unchanged from last week, with Kieran Marmion alongside captain Jack Carty, and a back three of wingers Mack Hansen and Alex Wootton, and full-back Oran McNulty.

Head Coach for Connacht Andy Friend said that it is exciting to have the Champions Cup running in front of spectators once again.

“Sunday is the start of a really exciting opportunity for us to make an impact in the Champions Cup.”

“Knockout rugby in the competition is the aim so a win this weekend is vital if we want to get there, albeit against a very strong Stade Francais team.”

“There’s been some special occasions at our home in this competition so with a strong Sportsground crowd behind us it’s set up to be a great occasion”.

The full Connacht squad for this weekend is:

15. Oran McNulty (4)
14. Alex Wootton (24)
13. Shayne Bolton (1)
12. Sammy Arnold (22)
11. Mack Hansen (7)
10. Jack Carty (166) (C)
9. Kieran Marmion (193)
1. Matthew Burke (30)
2. Shane Delahunt (107)
3. Finlay Bealham (166)
4. Oisín Dowling (12)
5. Niall Murray (22)
6. Cian Prendergast (15)
7. Conor Oliver (27)
8. Jarrad Butler (80)

16. Dave Heffernan (151)
17. Jordan Duggan (19)
18. Dominic Robertson-McCoy (69)
19. Leva Fifita (3)
20. Seán Masterson (14)
21. Caolin Blade (137)
22. Conor Fitzgerald (41)
23. Tom Farrell (66)