Two changes to Connacht lineup for Munster interpro

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Galway Daily rugby Connacht squad named for last game of the season

Connacht Rugby have announced their matchday lineup for this weekend’s URC interpro against Munster, with two changes from the side that faces Leicester.

Connacht will be facing Munster at home in the Sportsground this Saturday, January 1 at 5:15pm.

Connacht Head Coach Andy Friend said that this is a very important game if they want to finish in the top 4 of the URC.

“We’ve no game in the competition for a month after this weekend so it’d be great to have another win under our belt, albeit it against a very strong Munster team.”

Connacht’s last game was two weeks ago against the Leicester Tigers, after a planned St. Stephen’s Day matchup against Ulster couldn’t go ahead due to COVID on the Ulster side.

In this week’s squad, top try-scorer Mack Hansen making a welcome return from injury to start on the wing for the first time in a month.

The other change is in the second row where Oisín Dowling comes into the starting side.

The rest of the starting XV is unchanged, meaning Hansen forms a back three with winger John Porch and full-back Tiernan O’Halloran, while internationals Kieran Marmion, captain Jack Carty, Bundee Aki and Sammy Arnold make up the half-back and centre pairings respectively.

The front row is again made up of Matthew Burke, Dave Heffernan and Finlay Bealham, and Ultan Dillane partners Dowling in the second row. Flankers Cian Prendergast and Conor Oliver and number 8 Jarrad Butler make up the rest of the starting team.

Included on the bench is Academy scrum-half Matthew Devine, with the Ballinasloe RFC man named in a Pro matchday squad for the first time.

“The last four games between the teams have been decided by a single score, so we’ve to make sure we’re on top of our game for the full 80 minutes and take our chances when they come,” Andy Friend said.

The full Connacht matchday 23 for the coming game is:

15. Tiernan O’Halloran (196)
14. John Porch (46)
13. Sammy Arnold (25)
12. Bundee Aki (113)
11. Mack Hansen (7)
10. Jack Carty (168) (C)
9. Kieran Marmion (195)
1. Matthew Burke (32)
2. Dave Heffernan (153)
3. Finlay Bealham (167)
4. Ultan Dillane (122)
5. Oisín Dowling (13)
6. Cian Prendergast (17)
7. Conor Oliver (29)
8. Jarrad Butler (82)

Replacements
16. Shane Delahunt (109)
17. Tietie Tuimauga (1)
18. Dominic Robertson-McCoy (70)
19. Eoghan Masterson (116)
20. Abraham Papali’i (17)
21. Matthew Devine *
22. Conor Fitzgerald (43)
23. Tom Farrell (66)