The Connacht ‘A’ team to play Russian outfit Enisey-STM in a friendly match at the Sportsground on Saturday (kick-off 1pm) has been named.
As Connacht gear up to compete in next season’s British & Irish Cup, their ‘A’ team have been busy completing a number of fixtures in the last couple of months and this weekend sees the return of the 2011 Russian title holders to the Sportsground.
Founded in 1975, four-time professional league champions, Enisey-STM, are based in Krasnoiarsk in the heart of Siberia.
Their name stems from the Enisey river, one of the largest in Russia, and STM is an abbreviation of the Siberian Heavy Engineering Plant earning the team the nickname, ‘Heavy Machine’
This will be the third year running that the Connacht ‘A’ team has faced the Russian opposition with Connacht taking the spoils last April and this year sees Connacht name one of the strongest ‘A’ sides yet.
Senior players David McSharry, Rodney Ah You, Paul O’Donohoe and Eoghan Grace will combine with the best of the province’s youth and Academy set-ups.
Shane Layden, Aaron Conneely and Conor Finn, who all played for the Ireland Under-20s in the recent Six Nations, are some of the young guns hoping to impress.
CONNACHT ‘A’ (v Enisey-STM): Shane Layden; Conor Finn, Finn Gormley, David McSharry, James Loxton; Jack Carty, Paul O’Donohoe (capt); Finlay Bealham, Kevin O’Byrne, Rodney Ah You, Conor Kindregan, Daniel Qualter, Aaron Conneely, Eoghan Grace, Brian Moylett.
Replacements: Stevie Collins, Denis Buckley, Dylan Rogers, James Connolly, Luke Satchwell, Kieran Marmion, Michael O’Flynn, Conor Fitzgibbon.