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Connacht Name Unchanged Team For Newcastle Clash

Connacht Name Unchanged Team For Newcastle Clash

Connacht have plumped for an unchanged team for tomorrow night’s European Challenge Cup Pool 3 encounter with Newcastle Falcons at the Sportsground (kick-off 6.30pm).

Coach Michael Bradley has stuck with the 15 players that started last Friday’s Magners League win over Glasgow Warriors. That means no place for full-back-cum-centre Danny Riordan, who was in contention for a return after recovering from a quad muscle injury, while out-half Andy Dunne will be making his European debut for the province.

Tomorrow’s game will mark the second time Connacht have faced Newcastle in the European Challenge Cup.

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Newcastle’s last trip to the Sportsground was back in August 2004 for a pre-season friendly which marked the 150th Connacht cap in Eric Elwood’s long and distinguished career.

But with far more at stake tomorrow night, the game is sure to be more competitive and intense than the previous meeting of these two sides in Galway.

Meanwhile, Australian Under-21 international Liam Bibo joined up with his new team-mates this week at the Sportsground.

Bibo, who is Irish-qualified with his mother hailing from Drogheda, has just finished his Pharmacy degree at the University of Queensland and having played with the Queensland Reds and trained with the ACT Brumbies, already has a lot of experience at an early age.

The 21-year-old, who can play at full-back, on the wing or at centre, made his debut for Galwegians last weekend in the AIB League and is delighted to be playing rugby in the Northern Hemisphere.

“The guys here have made me feel very welcome. Training is going well and there’s a great atmosphere around the team and management and I’m very much looking forward to the year ahead,” Bibo admitted.

CONNACHT (v Newcastle Falcons): Gavin Duffy; Aidan Wynne, Darren Yapp, Mel Deane. Ofisa Treviranus; Andy Dunne, Conor O’Loughlin; Brett Wilkinson, Adrian Flavin, Robbie Morris, Michael Swift, Andrew Farley (capt), Michael McCarthy, Johnny O’Connor, John Muldoon.

Replacements: John Fogarty, Ronan Loughney, David Gannon, Ray Ofisa, Conor McPhillips, Tim Donnelly, Matt Mostyn.