4 Dec, 10:19
Grand Slam winners Fiona Coghlan and Nora Stapelton have returned the Women's RBS 6 Nations trophy to Chief Executive John Feehan at the Six Nations offices in Dublin.
Former Ireland international Matt Mostyn will captain Connacht in tonight's pre-season friendly against Overmach Parma at the Sportsground (kick-off 6.30pm).
Coach Michael Bradley has opted to start two of his six summer signings, as well as some of the province's underage talent, against the Challenge Cup-qualified Italian side. Christopher "Frik" Venter, signed from Natal Sharks, will assume the role of hooker for the westerners, while former Ireland Under-21 captain David Gannon will be looking to impress in his first game at lock.
Corinthians winger Daniel Riordan is also included, with his fellow Connacht Academy graduates Joe Merrigan, Ronan Loughney and Michael Diffley likely replacements. Academy player Philip Rowe will earn his first cap at number 8.
Lock Andrew Gallagher, signed from New Zealand's North Harbour, and old boy Colm Rigney, who has re-joined from Leeds Tykes, are named amongst the provisional replacements. With regular skipper Andrew Farley rested, Mostyn leads the westerners from full-back.
Bradley will want a positive start to the season as Connacht take on Leicester Tigers at the same venue on Friday (kick-off 6.30pm). Parma arrived in Dublin last night with a squad of 31 players, including US Eagles centres Paul Emerick and Albert Tuipulotu.
CONNACHT: Matt Mostyn (Capt); Conor McPhillips, Paul Warwick, Mark McHugh, Daniel
Riordan; David Slemen, Tom Tierney; Dan McFarland, Christopher Venter, Adrian Clarke/Ronan Loughney, David Gannon, Christian Short, Michael Swift, Brendan O'Connor, Philip Rowe.
Replacements: Joe Merrigan, Ronan Loughney/Adrian Clarke, Ray Hogan/ Michael
Diffley, Andrew Gallagher, John Muldoon, Trevor Richardson, Colm Rigney,
Chris Keane, Conor O'Loughlin, Keith Mathews.
PARMA Squad: Michael Barbieri, Robert Barbieri, Tommaso Besio, Sebastien Busato, Alejandro Canale, Alessandro Chillon, Marco Coletti, Sergio Cortesi, Paul Emerick, German Fontana, Marco Frati, Ezio Galon, Michele Garulli, Giovanni Ghidini, Alessandro Giacon, Fabio Gumiero, Bruno Masetti, Francesco Mazzariol, Nicola Mazzucato, Federico Minello, Gianmario Mori, Andrea Orsi, Bruno Pani, Liviu Pascu, Jose Pellicena, Pablo Sciarretta, Juan Martin Soffredini, Fabio Staibano, Luke Tait, Albert Tuipulotu, Manoa Vosawai.
Referee: Olan Trevor (IRFU)