Connacht have announced their ‘A’ team to take on take Leinster ‘A’ on Wednesday at 3pm in Old Belvedere RFC. There are seven changes to the side that was defeated 17-7 by the Ulster Ravens in Belfast last time out.
There is an all-new front row with former Ireland Under-20 prop Finlay Bealham joining Dermot Murphy and Rodney Ah You, who is making his first start since injuring his foot against Munster in December.
There is one change in the second row as Monivea native Conor Kindregan gets the nod alongside the senior-capped Michael Kearney. The back row remains unchanged with Eoin McKeon again linking up with David Heffernan and Eoghan Grace.
Buccaneers out-half Jack Carty will miss his former school Marist College’s push for a first Connacht Schools Senior Cup since 1977 as he captains the Connacht ‘A’ side from number 10.
Carty is joined at half-back again by former Leinster Academy scrum half Dave Moore.
The centre partnership also remains unchanged with Galwegians pair Tadhg Leader and Brian Murphy retaining their starting places.
Tadhg’s brother Darragh Leader makes his first start on the left wing. The former Bish student made his Ulster Bank League debut for Galwegians two weeks ago against UCD.
He joins former Cardiff Blues wing James Loxton and Matthew Jarvis in the back-three. Loxton is making his return after injury forced him off the pitch against the Ospreys in September.
Speaking ahead of the game, Connacht ‘A’ head coach Nigel Carolan commented: “Last week’s performance was disappointing but tomorrow gives us a chance to put things right against what is expected to be a strong Leinster ‘A’ team.
“All of these games will help our young guys in their development and exposure to this level of rugby which will only benefit them ahead of next year’s British & Irish Cup.”
CONNACHT ‘A’ (v Leinster ‘A’): Matthew Jarvis; James Loxton, Brian Murphy, Tadhg Leader, Darragh Leader; Jack Carty (capt), Dave Moore; Finlay Bealham, Dermot Murphy, Rodney Ah You, Conor Kindregan, Michael Kearney, David Heffernan, Eoghan Grace, Eoin McKeon.
Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, Denis Buckley, Jamie Stephens, Brian Moylett, Isaac O’Grady, Mark Dolan, Matt Dever, Conor Fitzgibbon.