Seven changes have been made to the Connacht side facing the Vodacom Bulls in Pretoria today from last week’s lineup against the Stormers.
David Hankshaw forms a half-back pairing with Kieran Marmion, while Tom Daly is now in as the inside centre.
He partners Tom Farrell, with an unchanged back three of wingers Mack Hansen and John Porch and full-back Oran McNulty.
Making up the front row is Dave Heffernan with Denis Buckley and Finlay Bealham. There’s a new second row pairing of Leva Fifita and Oisín Dowling.
This leaves Josh Murphy as the blindside flanker, while Conor Oliver is in as openside flanker, and Jarrad Butler is at Number 8.
The management have opted for a 6:2 split on the bench and includes hooker Grant Stewart and Academy graduate Ciarán Booth, who will both make their debuts for the province if called upon.
Last week’s game against DHL Stormers was a disappointing opening to the South Africa trip, with the Cape Town side winning 38 – 15.
“Whilst our first two performances have been disappointing and below our own expectations, the mood within the team remains positive,” Director of Rugby Andy Friend said.
“Everyone has been working really to hard iron out some the issues that have hindered us in the opening rounds, and we’re excited about the opportunity that the Bulls presents.”
“All five players who joined us post the Stormers match have proven to be great additions for us, especially our Team Captain Jack Carty.”
“It’s been fantastic to have him back training with us for the first time this season, and he’s on target for selection in the not too distant future.”
CONNACHT RUGBY MATCHDAY SQUAD VS VODACOM BULLS
Friday 30th September 2022, 17:30 Irish time / 18:30 South Africa time @ Loftus Versfeld Stadium
Number/Name/Caps ( * denotes uncapped)
15. Oran McNulty (10)
14. John Porch (61)
13. Tom Farrell (81)
12. Tom Daly (62)
11. Mack Hansen (15)
10. David Hawkshaw (2)
9. Kieran Marmion (211)
1. Denis Buckley (210)
2. Dave Heffernan (167)
3. Finlay Bealham (175)
4. Leva Fifita (16)
5. Oisín Dowling (26)
6. Josh Murphy (2)
7. Conor Oliver(42)
8. Jarrad Butler (96) (C)
16. Grant Stewart *
17. Peter Dooley (2)
18. Jack Aungier (33)
19. Gavin Thornbury (64)
20. Shamus Hurley-Langton (2)
21. Colm Reilly (9)
22. Byron Ralston (2)
23. Ciarán Booth *