Connacht Rugby have confirmed their matchday squad for the last game of the 2021/22 season on Saturday.
Connacht will finish out the season at home when they play Zebre Parma at the Sportsground on Saturday at 5pm.
Head Coach Andy Friend has an upbeat attitude about the game ahead, saying “Even though we missed out on the playoffs we have plenty to play for tomorrow.”
“Finishing with a 50% win record is important, but more so is finishing on a high at our home ground – both for our playing group and our supporters.”
In the lineup, Dylan Tierney-Martin is handed his first Connacht start at hooker, while there are also starts for Seán Masterson at openside flanker and Oran McNulty at full-back.
Centurions Denis Buckley and Finlay Bealham partner Tierney-Martin in the front row, while locks Gavin Thornbury and Niall Murray are paired together.
Masterson is accompanied in the back row by his brother Eoghan and Cian Prendergast at number 8.
Kieran Marmion and captain Jack Carty continue at 9 and 10 respectively, as do centres Tom Daly and Tom Farrell. The side is completed by wingers Alex Wootton and John Porch.
Included on the bench are departing players Ultan Dillane, Abraham Papali’i and Sammy Arnold who will make their final appearances for the club if called upon.
Friend said that he wanted to give players a chance to start, and show what they have, in tomorrow’s game, as well as a last moment to savour for the old hands.
“The likes of Dylan, Seán and Oran all deserve their opportunity tomorrow and I know the departing players involved will savour the experience as well.”
A total of 12 players are leaving Connacht Rugby at the end of this season, some retiring, and others moving on.
As is tradition in Connacht, all the departing players will be presented to the supporters after the final whistle – the first time since pre-COVID that such a presentation will be able to take place.
CONNACHT RUGBY MATCHDAY 23 VS ZEBRE PARMA
Saturday 21st May, 17:00 @ The Sportsground
15. Oran McNulty (8)
14. John Porch (58)
13. Tom Farrell (78)
12. Tom Daly (60)
11. Alex Wootton (33)
10. Jack Carty (179)
9. Kieran Marmion (208)
1. Denis Buckley (207)
2. Dylan Tierney-Martin (5)
3. Finlay Bealham (173)
4. Gavin Thornbury (62)
5. Niall Murray (34)
6. Eoghan Masterson (118)
7. Seán Masterson (17)
8. Cian Prendergast (30)
16. Dave Heffernan (164)
17. Matthew Burke (38)
18. Jack Aungier (31)
19. Ultan Dillane (126)
20. Abraham Papali’i (24)
21. Colm Reilly (8)
22. Conor Fitzgerald (52)
23. Sammy Arnold (37)