The Connacht Eagles will play annual Russian visitors Enisei STM at the Sportsground on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 2pm).
The province’s head coach Nigel Carolan has named his side for the friendly encounter with Enisei, who will also face Munster ‘A’ next Tuesday as part of their pre-season preparations.
The Eagles’ starting line-up sees Willie Faloon return to openside flanker for the first time since September when he suffered a foot injury that kept him out of action until now.
It is hoped that the 27-year-old will be available to feature in Connacht’s PRO12 derby match against his native Ulster at Ravenhill next Friday.
Joining Faloon in the back row is flanker Conor Gilsenan and Mata Fifita at number 8.
Galwegians hooker Jack Dineen, a member of this year’s sub Academy, will have two experienced props Ronan Loughney and Nathan White on either side of him.
Academy scrum half Caolin Blade is joined at half-back by Miah Nikora who contributed to a thrilling 15 minutes for the senior team at Parc y Scarlets last weekend.
Danie Poolman is a welcome and experienced addition to the Connacht back-line for the friendly, while club players Niyi Adeolokun (Dublin University) and Jerome Harimate (Galwegians) will be given a chance to shine at the Sportsground.
Speaking about the game, Carolan said: “Tomorrow’s line-up is a real mixture of senior, Academy and club players.
“It’s the Eagles’ last game of the season and a great opportunity for some guys in key positions to get a hit-out ahead of the remaining PRO12 games.
“This is the third year in a row we’ve hosted Russian side Enisei and we always look forward to it. They are a hugely physical but also skilful side and the team we’ve put out shows the respect we have for them.
“The Eagles have performed well at home this season and we want to finish off with a win at the Sportsground tomorrow.”
Entry to the Sportsground is free tomorrow afternoon.
CONNACHT EAGLES (v Enisei STM): Shane Layden; Niyi Adeolokun, Jerome Harimate, Conor Finn, Danie Poolman; Miah Nikora, Caolin Blade; Ronan Loughney, Jack Dineen, Nathan White, George Naoupu, Daniel Qualter, Conor Gilsenan, Willie Faloon, Mata Fifita.
Replacements: Peter Reilly, Finlay Bealham, JP Cooney, Ultan Dillane, Cian Romaine, Mark Dolan, Jack Carty, Rory Parata, Ciarán Gaffney.