The Connacht Eagles will play Leinster ‘A’ at the Sportsground on Wednesday (kick-off 4pm) in just their second interpro game of the season.
Following six straight pool games as part of the British & Irish Cup competition, Connacht Eagles head coach Nigel Carolan will have an opportunity to play a mixture of senior, Academy and club players against provincial opposition.
The most notable inclusion in the Eagles matchday squad is tighthead prop Nathan White who makes a playing return after recovering from the elbow injury that ruled him out of action for the last 10 weeks.
Veteran lock Michael Swift will captain the side from second row alongside Academy talent Ultan Dillane, who made his senior debut last month but is not registered to play in the European Challenge Cup pool stages when Connacht take on Exeter Chiefs on Sunday.
On Saturday week (January 24), the Eagles will be in action again at the Sportsground when they welcome the German national side for an afternoon clash at 2.30pm.
Commenting on the upcoming games, Carolan said they represent ‘a great opportunity for guys who haven’t seen a lot of game-time recently, whether on the fringes or coming back from injury, to showcase what they can do and put in to practice what they’ve been training for week in, week out’.
“It also allows us to try out different combinations within the team ahead of what is going to be a busy and challenging period for the entire squad,” admitted.
“Tomorrow’s game is a big challenge for our players in what are likely to be very tough conditions and we’re looking forward to seeing how they cope with it.”
CONNACHT EAGLES (v Leinster ‘A’): Shane Layden; Niyi Adeolokun, Conor Finn, Peter Robb, Fionn Carr; Shane O’Leary, John Cooney; Ronan Loughney, Jack Dinneen, Nathan White, Michael Swift (capt), Ultan Dillane, Andrew Browne, Mata Fifita, Daniel Qualter.
Replacements: John Healy, Jacob Walshe, Saba Meunargia, Eoghan Masterson, James Connolly, Conor Lowndes, Conor McKeon, Rory Parata, Cian O’Donoughue, Conor Kyne.