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Connacht Team Named For Munster Derby

Mar 4, 2021 16:03 By Dave Hooper
Connacht Team Named For Munster Derby Connacht Team Named For Munster Derby
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Bundee Aki, Ultan Dillane and Dave Heffernan have been named in the Connacht starting team for tomorrow night’s trip to Thomond Park. Bundee Aki

Bundee Aki, Ultan Dillane and Dave Heffernan have been named in the Connacht starting team for tomorrow night’s trip to Thomond Park.

Bundee Aki is retained at centre following his release from Ireland duty last weekend, while Dave Heffernan and Ultan Dillane both start at hooker and second row respectively.

In all there are seven changes from the side that secured a last-minute win at Benetton. Denis Buckley comes into an experienced front row with Heffernan and Finlay Bealham, while Gavin Thornbury in in the the second row alongside Dillane.

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“We know exactly what we need to do tomorrow night in Limerick” says Connacht head coach Andy Friend.

“There has been barely any talk of securing Champions Cup qualification because our first objective has always been 1st place in the Conference B, so all our focus since last weekend has been on getting a win that gives us that fighting chance of a final spot.”

“Thankfully we haven’t picked up any major injury worries in our last two games so we’ve a pretty healthy squad apart from our long-term absentees” says Friend.

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“We’ve named a very experienced starting XV but we’ve made sure to also reward those who showed good form in our last few games. Overall we’re in a positive place and we’re really looking forward to the challenge.”

Conor Oliver starts at openside flanker to face his former club, joining captain Jarrad Butler and Paul Boyle to complete the pack.

There’s a new look half-back pairing of Caolin Blade and Jack Carty, while there are also new faces on the wings with Matt Healy and John Porch coming into the starting line-up.

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12, 13 and 15 are unchanged from the Benetton win with Aki, Tom Daly and Tiernan O’Halloran all retained.

In all nine of the starting 15 are Connacht centurions as the side look to extend an all-time club record of five straight wins away from home.

Munster v Connacht

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  1. Tiernan O’Halloran
  2. John Porch
  3. Tom Daly
  4. Bundee Aki
  5. Matt Healy
  6. Jack Carty
  7. Caolin Blade
  8. Denis Buckley
  9. Dave Heffernan
  10. Finlay Bealham
  11. Ultan Dillane
  12. Gavin Thornbury
  13. Jarrad Butler (C)
  14. Conor Oliver
  15. Paul Boyle

Replacements

  1. Shane Delahunt
  2. Matthew Burke
  3. Jack Aungier
  4. Niall Murray
  5. Eoghan Masterson
  6. Kieran Marmion
  7. Sean O’Brien
  8. Alex Wootton
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Connacht v Munster

Friday 5th March

Thomond Park, kick-off: 7:35pm

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