The Connacht Eagles team has been named for Sunday’s British & Irish Cup round 2 tie with Pontypridd at the Sportsground (kick-off 2pm).
Head coach Nigel Carolan, recently appointed to the role of Ireland Under-20 head coach, has made six personnel changes to the Connacht Eagles that started the campaign against Bristol.
The Roscommon-born Shane Layden will start at full-back, while the Academy’s David Panter comes on to the right wing which sees Fionn Carr, one of the try scorers in the 50-34 defeat to Bristol, move over to the left.
Academy graduate Conor Finn, who made his senior debut earlier this season, is named at outside centre and Corkman Shane O’Leary, who has been kicking from the tee in the last two games, gets his first start at out-half.
There are further changes to the pack with Ultan Dillane and Cian Romaine promoted from the bench. Former Ireland U-20 international Rory Moloney will play his first Connacht game of the season, starting at openside flanker.
Kick-off at the Sportsground on Sunday is at 2pm and entry is free for all Connacht Rugby Season Ticket holders.
CONNACHT EAGLES (v Pontypridd): Shane Layden; David Panter, Conor Finn, Peter Robb, Fionn Carr; Shane O’Leary, John Cooney; Jamie Dever, Pat O’Toole, JP Cooney, Ultan Dillane, Daniel Qualter, Cian Romaine, Rory Moloney, Eoghan Masterson (capt).
Replacements: Jack Dinneen, Jacob Walshe, Stephen McVeigh, Marc Kelly, Caolin Blade, Conor McKeon, Ciaran Gaffney.