Connacht continue their pre-season preparations with a game against London Wasps at Adams Park on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 2.30pm).
Head coach Pat Lam will bring an extended squad of 28 players to London which includes a mix of new signings, established players and talented Academy prospects.
Having already played Clermont Auvergne as part of the pre-season schedule, this second fixture presents another opportunity for the coaches to blend the new summer signings and development players into the squad and test out the new systems and structures against tough opposition.
Denis Buckley, David Heffernan and Finlay Bealham – all graduates of the Connacht Academy – make up the front row trio.
In the absence of John Muldoon (tight hamstring), the 23-year-old Michael Kearney has been handed the captaincy for this weekend’s game. Kearney, part of the touring Emerging Ireland squad this summer, is joined in the second row by South African-born lock Quinn Roux.
Academy graduate Jack Carty is handed the reins at out-half and he links up with new signing Ian Porter at half-back.
Former Dublin University player Niyi Adeolokun has earned a start on the right wing following his performances in training and the pre-season clash with Clermont where the 23-year-old touched down for Connacht’s try in the second half.
Traveling supporters or Connacht fans based in and around London can purchase tickets at the gate on Saturday or by calling the Wasps Ticket Office on 0844 847 1867. The ‘Connacht Clan’ will be located in the Panache Stand (formally the Dreams Stand).
CONNACHT (v London Wasps): Tiernan O’Halloran, Niyi Adeolokun *, Darragh Leader, David McSharry, Danie Poolman; Jack Carty, Ian Porter *; Denis Buckley, David Heffernan, Finlay Bealham, Quinn Roux *, Michael Kearney (capt), Eoin McKeon, Willie Faloon, George Naoupu.
Replacements: Sean Henry, JP Cooney, Rodney Ah You, Michael Swift, Daniel Qualter, Caolin Blade, Craig Ronaldson, Fionn Carr, Eoghan Masterson, Shane O’Leary *, Conor Finn *, Rory Parata, Shane Layden.
* Uncapped for Connacht
Unavailable: Tom McCartney, Kieran Marmion, Bundee Aki, Robbie Henshaw, Mils Muliaina, Jason Harris-Wright, Ronan Loughney, Nathan White, Andrew Browne, Aly Muldowney, Mata Fifita, Jake Heenan, John Muldoon, John Cooney, Matt Healy.