Connacht Rugby

Connacht Rugby team to face Leinster announced

Connacht Rugby

Ahead of tomorrow’s sold-out interpro clash between Connacht and Leinster at the Sportsground (5:15pm), Connacht Rugby head coach Pat Lam has made two changes from the starting XV that lined out for the win over Edinburgh three weeks ago.

Academy centre Peter Robb is handed his first PRO12 start and partners Bundee Aki in midfield. 21-year-old Robb made his Connacht debut in November in the Challenge Cup game away to Russian side Enisei-STM. Tomorrow will mark his tenth appearance in a Connacht jersey.

Niyi Adeolokun returns to the right wing after missing the Edinburgh game through injury and is the only other personnel change to the team. The half back pairing is once again made up of AJ MacGinty and Kieran Marmion, who made his 6 Nations debut earlier this month.

The packs sees Ireland international Nathan White, who featured in all five 6 Nations games, pack down in the front row while 21-year-old Sean O’Brien from the Academy is again included in the back row with Jake Heenan and captain John Muldoon.

Internationals Robbie Henshaw – who only joined team training on Thursday – and Finlay Bealham are both named amongst the replacements. Frontrower Bealham who has featured in every Connacht game this season, is in line to make his 50th appearance.

Commenting on the upcoming game, head coach Pat Lam said:

“I have a lot of respect for who Leinster are and what they have achieved. There is a lot of quality right across the squad and I believe Leo (Cullen), in his first season as head coach, has done a tremendous job. Tomorrow, we are expecting a pretty physical and fired up opposition. As a team who have history of winning at this stage of the season, it’s going to take a massive collective effort from us to come out on top.

“There’s certainly a huge buzz around this game tomorrow and we’re all really looking forward to it – it doesn’t get much better than playing in front of a sold-out Sportsground. Staying focussed and chanelling that excitement and energy into our structures and systems will give us the best chance of getting the points on offer.”

Connacht team to face Leinster, Saturday March 26th, 5:15pm
15 Tiernan O’Halloran
14 Niyi Adeolokun
13 Bundee Aki
12 Peter Robb
11 Matt Healy
10 AJ MacGinty
9 Kieran Marmion

1 Denis Buckley
2 Tom McCartney
3 Nathan White
4 Quinn Roux
5 Aly Muldowney
6 Sean O’Brien
7 Jake Heenan
8 John Muldoon (captain)

16 Dave Heffernan
17 Ronan Loughney
18 Finlay Bealham
19 Andrew Browne
20 Eoin McKeon
21 Caolin Blade
22 Shane O’Leary
23 Robbie Henshaw

The game is live on TG4 and Sky Sports