Connacht Rugby

Connacht Rugby Team to face Ulster announced

Connacht Rugby

Ahead their trip to the Kingspan Stadium tomorrow evening, Pat Lam has made seven personnel changes to the Connacht Rugby team that defeated Leinster five days ago.

In the absence of Tiernan O’Halloran who suffered a quad injury in training this week, Robbie Henshaw will line out at full back with the midfield partnership of Bundee Aki and the Academy’s Peter Robb retained. Shane O’Leary is handed the reins at outhalf for his first PRO12 start while scrum half John Cooney, on his return from injury, takes over from Kieran Marmion who is also sidelined this week with a minor quad injury.

Up front, Rodney Ah You comes in for the injured Nathan White while Andrew Browne forms a new second row partnership with Aly Muldowney. Captain John Muldoon shifts to blindside flanker in a back row with Academy player James Connolly and last week’s Man of the Match Eoin McKeon.

Ireland international Ultan Dillane comes on to the bench for his first Connacht game since his involvement in the 6 Nations. Also included among the replacements is utility back Cormac Brennan from year 1 of the Connacht Academy. This is the first match day involvement for the 21-year-old who plays his club rugby with Galwegians RFC.

Commenting on the team selection and the upcoming games, head coach Pat Lam said:

“Our squad depth is strong in all positions except 10 and 15 so to lose AJ (MacGinty) to injury, have Shane (O’Leary) go down with sickness at the start of a short week and then have Tiernan(O’Halloran) and Kieran (Marmion) drop out with injuries at kicking practise, it is a challenge to say the least.

“However once again I believe it is an opportunity for us to strengthen our resolve and continue to rely on our team systems and work ethic.

“History and the short turnaround is certainly against us for the massive physical challenge that awaits us from Ulster, but we go there knowing that focussing on the quality of our team performance will give us the best chance of getting the points on offer.”

Connacht Rugby team to face Ulster, Friday April 1st, Kingspan Stadium, 7:35pm
15 Robbie Henshaw
14 Niyi Adeolokun
13 Bundee Aki
12 Peter Robb
11 Matt Healy
10 Shane O’Leary
9 John Cooney

1 Denis Buckley
2 Tom McCartney
3 Rodney Ah You
4 Andrew Browne
5 Aly Muldowney
6 John Muldoon (Captain)
7 James Connolly
8 Eoin McKeon

16 Dave Heffernan
17 Ronan Loughney
18 Finlay Bealham
19 Ultan Dillane
20 Sean O’Brien
21 Caolin Blade
22 Cormac Brennan
23 Danie Poolman