Connacht have announced their squad of 22 players for their final home Magners League game of the season against Ulster at the Sportsground on Friday (kick-off 7pm).
There have been two changes made to the Connacht squad with Mel Deane being called up in the backs and team captain John Muldoon returning from suspension in the forwards.
Having put both Munster and Leinster to the sword at home so far this season, Connacht are looking to achieve a ‘domestic triple crown’ when they take on Ulster, something which head coach Michael Bradley feels is a great incentive going into the game.
“We’re looking forward to the match on the basis that we’ve a unique opportunity to have home victories over the three other irish provinces in the one season, a feat that Connacht rugby have not achieved in the professional era so far,” he said.
“Secondly, it is a momentus game for Andrew Farley in achieving his 153rd competitive cap for Connacht and at the same time it will be Michael Swift’s 150th cap for the province.
“When you take into consideration that Andrew is a few games off completing his sixth season with the club, it becomes even more noteworthy that he achieved the number of caps in such a short period of time and that we may not see it happen again in such a short timeframe.”
It will be Farley’s final home game for Connacht as he will be shortly bidding farewell to the province. The genial second row played for Ireland ‘A’ at the 2007 Churchill Cup.
Meanwhile, despite some strong performances at home this season Bradley is still wary of how clinical Ulster can be, having experienced it first hard earlier in the season.
“Earlier in the year when we played Ulster at Ravenhill we went up to the match with a lot of confidence due to our performances to date in the season, but due to the quality of the performance of Ulster and in particular their ability to take their chances when presented, they won the match.
“They got two tries directly from short lineouts and three tries immediately from Connacht turnovers.
“Ulster showed in that game that they can be very clinical and we must be wary of this fact when we play them on Friday night.”
CONNACHT Squad (v Ulster): Backs (10) – Liam Bibo, Fionn Carr, Mel Deane, Gavin Duffy, Andy Dunne, Ian Keatley, Keith Matthews, Frank Murphy, Troy Nathan, Conor O’Loughlin.
Forwards (12) – Andrew Browne, Sean Cronin, Andrew Farley, Adrian Flavin, David Gannon, Ronan Loughney, Brian McGovern, John Muldoon, Ray Ofisa, Colm Rigney, Michael Swift, Brett Wilkinson.