19 May, 11:13
There are six uncapped players in the Ireland squad for the summer tour to North America that was named this morning. An Emerging Ireland squad has also been selected for the Tblisi Cup in Georgia.
Connacht are three points adrift at foot of the Celtic League table after the Border Reivers stung them with a 17-15 defeat.
CELTIC LEAGUE: Saturday, September 24
Connacht 15 Border Reivers 17, The Sportsground (Att: 650)
Scorers: Connacht: Matt Lacey, Colm Rigney; Con: David Slemen; PenL Paul Warwick
Reivers: Tries: Charlie Hore, Simon Danielli; Cons: Hore 2; Pen: Hore
Steve Bates' Reivers produced a ten-point turnaround in the second half to steal their first ever away victory in league action. On reflection, they deserved it too as Semo Sititi's early sending-off meant they played for over 70 minutes at the Sportsground with 14 men.
The Scottish side's second match in six days turned in their favour on 69 minutes when a silly sin-binning for Connacht flanker Michael Swift allowed Charlie Hore kick the match-winning penalty and condemn the westerners to their third defeat on the trot.
Backed by a sizeable Galway gale, Paul Warwick had booted Connacht into an eight-minute lead from a close range penalty.
Two minutes later, Sititi was sent to an early shower as at a set scrum, he swung his arm wildly at the face of Connacht's Tom Tierney leaving the former Leicester Tigers scrum-half strewn on the pitch and Welsh referee Nigel Owens with little option but to reach for his red card.
Despite this, the visitors, 16-6 winners over the Ospreys last week, proved sticky opponents throughout. An injury to Warwick did little for Connacht's cause as did Hore's 21st-minute try. The Kiwi fly-half blazed through under the posts and added the extras for 8-7.
Connacht struck back on 27 minutes when fit-again flanker Matt Lacey muscled over to score from a lineout maul.
Warwick's replacement David Slemen missed the conversion but his line-kicking proved vital in the Irishmen's bid for a second try. It came just as Borders lock Mark Blair was sin-binned for a ruck infringement in first half injury-time.
Former Leeds number eight Colm Rigney bided his time at the base of a trundling scrum - Connacht's fifth set-piece on the trot - before picking up and driving over for Slemen to convert for a 15-7 lead.
The second half was a less than exciting affair and only sprung into life when a Stuart Moffat incision on 55 minutes sent Simon Danielli haring over for a try in the right corner.
Hore, who missed a penalty shot only minutes earlier, brilliantly drilled the conversion over and after Swift went over the top of a ruck, the Borders number 10 held his nerve to kick the Scots home.
CONNACHT: Matt Mostyn; Conor McPhillips, Darren Yapp, James Downey (Ted Robinson 62), Keith Matthews; Paul Warwick (David Slemen 23), Tom Tierney; Dan McFarland (Ray Hogan 60), John Fogarty (Chris Venter 78), Stephen Knoop (McFarland 80), Christian Short, Andrew Farley (Capt), Michael Swift (John Muldoon 79), Matt Lacey, Colm Rigney.
BORDERS: Calum MacRae; Nikki Walker, Ben MacDougall, Garry Law (Stuart Moffatt half-time), Simon Danielli; Charlie Hore, Chris Cusiter; Paul Thomson (Capt), Steve Scott (Ross Ford ht), Tom McGee (Geoff Cross 70), Opeta Palepoi, Mark Blair (Colin Stewart ht), John Dalziel, Andy Miller (Wayne McEntee 61), Semo Sititi.
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales); Sin-Bin: Mark Blair (Borders) (40+4 mins), Michael Swift (Connacht) (69); Red Card: Semo Sititi (Borders) (10)