Danny Qualter captains the Connacht Rugby Eagles in their final British & Irish Cup game this season away to Cornish Pirates tomorrow (Saturday).
Head coach Mossy Lawler has named his side for the trip to Cornwall, making eight changes from the starting XV that lined out last week.
Eoghan Masterson makes a welcome return to the field, starting in an all-changed back row with Marc Kelly and James Connolly. This is the first game back for 23-year-old Masterson in almost a year having recovered from a significant knee injury sustained while on PRO12 duty last February.
Also returning from long term injury is Academy prop Jamie Dever who will start in the front row for his first game in 26 months while Ireland U20’s lock Peter Claffey is named on the bench having last played 10 months ago.
There are further changes to the pack with senior hooker Shane Delahunt adding his experience up front while Academy lock Cian Romaine joins captain Danny Qualter in the second row.
Academy duo Stephen Kerins and Ed O’Keeffe are the only changes to a youthful backline.
Eagles’ head coach Mossy Lawler commented ahead of the final pool fixture:
“It’s great to see some players coming back from long-term injury and getting a chance to play before we conclude our B&I campaign.
“Naturally we are not happy with our results in the competition this season but we do see the value in testing our young players in high pressure games and against quality opposition. It’s all part of their development and tomorrow’s game will be another big challenge and learning experience for them. Of course, we will be hoping to put in a winning performance to sign off our B&I Cup season.”
The Connacht Rugby Eagles squad to face Cornish Pirates, at Mennaye Field Penzance is as follows:
(Connacht senior caps and affiliated club in brackets)
15 Matthew Byrne (Galwegians RFC)
14 Ed O’Keeffe (Galwegians RFC)
13 Ciaran Gaffney (Galwegians RFC)
12 Kieran Joyce (Malone RFC)
11 Adam Leavy (Galwegians RFC)
10 Luke Carty (Buccaneers RFC)
9 Stephen Kerins (Corinthians RFC)
1 Jamie Dever (Corinthians RFC)
2 Shane Delahunt (Buccaneers RFC) (23)
3 Dominic Robertson-McCoy (Galwegians RFC) (4)
4 Cian Romaine (Buccaneers RFC)
5 Danny Qualter (Buccaneers RFC) (14) (captain)
6 Marc Kelly (Galwegians RFC)
7 James Connolly (Corinthians RFC) (22)
8 Eoghan Masterson (Corinthians RFC) (34)
16 Jack Dinneen (Galwegians RFC) (2)
17 Saba Meunargia (Buccaneers RFC) (2)
18 Peter Claffey (Galwegians RFC)
19 Rory Moloney (Buccaneers RFC)
20 Conor Lowndes (Buccaneers RFC)
21 Morgan Codyre (Galwegians RFC)
22 Joe Murphy (Corinthians RFC)
Kick off is at 2pm.