Connacht Director of Rugby Andy Friend admits this is one of the biggest games of the season as Connacht travel to Leinster on new year’s day.
“There’s no bigger challenge in the URC than the one we have on Sunday night and it’s one we’ll relish” explained Friend.
“The performance against Ulster wasn’t good enough but if we cut out our unforced errors and play like we did in those final 20 minutes it’ll give us every chance of a win”.
“Unfortunately we’re missing a few players through illness but this is a great opportunity to see the benefits of the depth within the squad, which is the best it’s been in my five-years here.”
Leinster: Jimmy O’Brien, Jordan Larmour, Liam Turner, Charlie Ngatai, Rob Russell, Johnny Sexton (C), Jamison Gibson-Park, Michael Milne, Rónan Kelleher, Michael Ala’alatoa, Brian Deeny, James Ryan, Ryan Baird, Josh van der Flier, Caelan Doris.
Replacements: John McKee, Marcus Hanan, Vakhtang Abdaladze, Alex Soroka, Scott Penny, Cormac Foley, Harry Byrne, Jamie Osborne.
Connacht: Tiernan O’Halloran, Diarmuid Kilgallen, Tom Farrell, David Hawkshaw, John Porch, Jack Carty (C), Caolin Blade, Peter Dooley, Dave Heffernan, Dominic Robertson-McCoy, Darragh Murray, Niall Murray, Cian Prendergast, Shamus Hurley-Langton, Jarrad Butler.
Replacements: Shane Delahunt, Denis Buckley, Sam Illo, Oisín Dowling, Conor Oliver, Kieran Marmion, Tom Daly, Byron Ralston.
Leinster v Connacht
RDS Arena, Dublin – KO 19.35
Referee: Eoghan Cross (Ireland)