Roscommon’s Danny Qualter will captain the Connacht Eagles side on the resumption of their British & Irish Cup campaign when they welcome Ospreys Select to the Sportsground tomorrow afternoon (kick off 2:30pm).
Connacht Rugby Eagles’ head coach Mossy Lawler has once again named a side featuring a mixture of senior, Academy and club players from the province.
Matt Healy returns from the knee injury that saw him withdrawn from last weekend’s Guinness PRO12 clash with Benetton Treviso minutes before kick off. The Irish international starts on the left wing with year 1 Academy back Matthew Byrne named on the right.
Ciaran Gaffney, currently in his third year with the Academy, will start at fullback while his Galwegians’ teammate Cormac Brennan forms a midfield partnership with Danie Poolman. The half back pairing is once again made up of Kiltoom’s Luke Carty and Buccaneers teammate Conor McKeon.
Lawler has been able to call on an experienced pack with six forwards from the senior squad lining out tomorrow.
Shane Delahunt and Dominic Robertson-McCoy will pack down in the front row with Academy prop Saba Meunargia. Danny Qualter will form a second row partnership with James Cannon. Senior players Rory Moloney and James Connolly are named in the back row along with Galwegians’ club man and openside flanker Josh Pim.
Commenting ahead of the game Mossy Lawler said:
“It’s great to be back in game mode and preparing for a game at the Sportsground. It will no doubt be a tough challenge against Ospreys but we’re looking forward to seeing how the team can perform. There are a lot of young Academy players getting an opportunity to show what they can do and everyone will be determined to put their hand up for the following week and the return fixture in Wales.
“While we’re obviously looking to get a positive result, the focus remains on the team performance and how individuals can perform in a game situation.”
The Connacht Eagles Rugby Squad in full is as follows
(Connacht senior caps and affiliated club in brackets)
15 Ciaran Gaffney (Galwegians RFC)
14 Matthew Byrne (Galwegians RFC)
13 Cormac Brennan (Galwegians RFC)
12 Danie Poolman (Buccaneers RFC)
11 Matt Healy
10 Luke Carty (Buccaneers RFC)
9 Conor McKeon (2) (Buccaneers RFC)
1 Saba Meunargia (2) (Buccaneers RFC)
2 Shane Delahunt (22) (Buccaneers RFC)
3 Dominic Robertson-McCoy (4) (Galwegians RFC)
4 James Cannon (4)
5 Danny Qualter (Captain) (14) (Buccaneers RFC)
6 Rory Moloney (1) (Buccaneers RFC)
7 Josh Pim (Galwegians RFC)
8 James Connolly (20) (Corinthians RFC)
16 Pat O’Toole (Corinthians RFC)
17 Conor Kyne (Galwegians RFC)
18 Cian Romaine (Buccaneers RFC)
19 Marc Kelly (Galwegians RFC)
20 Stephen Kerins (Corinthians RFC)
21 Ed O’Keeffe (Galwegians RFC)
22 Joe Murphy (Corinthians RFC)
Connacht Eagles v Ospreys Select
Saturday December 10th 2016
Kick off 2:30pm
Entry is free for all Connacht Rugby Season Ticket Holders. Under 12’s are also free while it’s just €5 for all other entry available at the gate.