While the autumn internationals have taken centre stage these past few weeks, Connacht Eagles have been busy preparing for Friday’s trip to Belfast to face Ulster Ravens at Deramore Park – home of Belfast Harlequins (kick-off 6pm).
Connacht Eagles head coach Nigel Carolan has named a strong matchday squad made up of senior and Academy players.
Most notably, Galway man Eoin Griffin makes a welcome return from injury and is paired in the centre with fellow returnee David McSharry.
Academy out-half Jack Carty will once again captain the Eagles side, forming the half-back pairing with the experienced Frank Murphy.
Up front, Ronan Loughney is named at loosehead prop with Nathan White starting at tighthead. Aly Muldowney will play at blindside flanker – a position he covered two weeks ago against Glasgow Warriors – and is joined in the back row by Mata Fifita and recent Academy recruit Eoghan Masterson.
CONNACHT EAGLES (v Ulster Ravens): Darragh Leader; Fionn Carr, Eoin Griffin, David McSharry, Tiernan O’Halloran; Jack Carty (capt), Frank Murphy; Ronan Loughney, David Heffernan, Nathan White, David Nolan, Michael Kearney, Aly Muldowney, Eoghan Masterson, Mata Fifita.
Replacements: James Rael, Denis Buckley, JP Cooney, Daniel Qualter, Paul O’Donohoe, Conor Finn, Shane Layden.