Connacht coach Michael Bradley has announced his 22-man squad for the province’s opening European Challenge Cup clash with French side Brive on Friday (Parc Municipal des Sports, kick-off 7.30pm local time).
Connacht’s travelling squad is along expected lines with all of the province’s matchday 22 from their Magners League loss to Leinster included, bar second row David Gannon.
His place in the squad has been taken by experienced back rower Colm Rigney, who is in line to make his 100th appearance for Connacht.
Meanwhile, Connacht’s first opponents in Europe this season, Brive, will have a new coach in charge for Friday’s encounter in the form of the fifth most-capped French player of all-time, Oliver Magne.
The former London Irish back rower was announced as the club’s new coach in the aftermath of last Friday’s 12-7 French Championship defeat at the hands of Biarritz. Some poor early season form from Brive led to Richard Crepsey’s premature exit as coach.
Brive have lost their opening two Top 14 games – against Bayonne and Biarritz – and they sit eleventh in the table, above Perpignan, Auch and Dax.
CONNACHT Squad (v Brive): Forwards (12) – Andrew Farley (capt), Adrian Flavin, John Fogarty, Michael McCarthy, Brian McGovern, Robbie Morris, John Muldoon, Johnny O’Connor, Ray Ofisa, Colm Rigney, Michael Swift, Brett Wilkinson.
Backs (10) – Mel Deane, Tim Donnelly, Gavin Duffy, Peter Durcan, Keith Matthews, Conor McPhillips, Conor O’Loughlin, Ofisa Treviranus, Aidan Wynne, Darren Yapp.