Jack Carty Returns For Connacht

Ireland internationals Jack Carty and Bundee Aki are both named in the Connacht matchday squad to face Leinster in the Sportsground on Friday.

Carty comes straight back into the side at out half while Aki is named among the replacements for the first inter-pro clash of the season.

Carty plays his first game since Ireland’s win over Russia in the World Cup and he forms a half back partnership with Caolin Blade.

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“We are happy with the start we have made in the PRO14 with four wins in a row” explained Connacht head coach Andy Friend.

“What is even more satisfying is the depth we have already displayed, with 35 players already used in the opening five games” added Friend.

With Jack Carty, Bundee Aki and Sean O’Brien all coming back in this week, that number will hopefully go to 38”.

“We obviously face another huge challenge this weekend against Leinster but our challenge is to just maintain the consistency we have seen over the past few weeks both at home and away.”

We take huge pride in our home record, with just one loss in thirteen games and we expect a massive crowd again on Friday night” added Friend.

At midfield, Peter Robb is retained after his recent outstanding performances and he will be partnered by Tom Farrell.

Elsewhere in the back line Stephen Fitzgerald comes in on the wing with Darragh Leader at full back and the in-form Niyi Adeolokun on the opposite wing.

Up front, there is a highly experienced front row with Denis Buckley and Finlay Bealham filling the loosehead and tighthead spots respectively and Tom McCartney named at hooker.

In the second row, Sligo man Cillian Gallagher comes in for his first start of the season alongside Joe Maksymiw. The back row has a familiar look to it with flankers Eoghan Masterson and Jarrad Butler lining up alongside Paul Boyle at number 8.

Connacht: Darragh Leader, Niyi Adeolokun, Tom Farrell, Peter Robb, Stephen Fitzgerald, Jack Carty, Caolin Blade, Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney, Finlay Bealham, Cillian Gallagher, Joe Maksymiw, Eoghan Masterson, Jarrad Butler (C), Paul Boyle.

Replacements: Dave Heffernan, Matthew Burke, Dominic Robertson-McCoy, Sean O’Brien, Colby Fainga’a, Kieran Marmion, Bundee Aki, Kyle Godwin.

Connacht v Leinster

Friday November 8

The Sportsgrounds, Kick-off 7:35pm.