Ahead of this afternoon’s Captain’s Run at BT Murrayfield, Connacht head coach Pat Lam has finalised his team to face Leinster in the GUINNESS PRO12 final in Edinburgh on Saturday (kick-off 5.30pm).
For the first time all season, the Connacht management have made no changes to the matchday 23 from the last fixture – last Saturday’s hard-fought semi-final win at home to Glasgow Warriors.
Galway man John Muldoon will captain the side in his 275th game for the province and is joined in the back row by flankers Eoin McKeon and Jake Heenan.
Finlay Bealham and Ultan Dillane, two of five Connacht players named this week in the Ireland squad for the summer tour to South Africa, start up front. Tighthead prop Bealham is the only player to have featured in all 31 games for the province this season.
Ireland internationals Kieran Marmion and Robbie Henshaw are named in the back-line with AJ MacGinty once again handed the reins at out-half. Niyi Adeolokun – Connacht’s try scorer against Glasgow – lines out on the right wing.
Commenting on the all-Irish league decider, Pat Lam said: “It’s exciting that this is the first time in 31 games that we’ve been able to name the same matchday squad from one week to the next. These 23 players are the fortunate ones who have earned the opportunity to wear the jersey and represent their team-mates and the whole of Connacht in our first final.
“Preparation continues to be our big focus this week. We know how tough it will be against Leinster who have a huge amount of experience in finals rugby. But we know that if we stick to our structures and systems and channel all the emotion and physicality in to our performance, we have a real chance of making history.”
CONNACHT (v Leinster): Tiernan O’Halloran; Niyi Adeolokun, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, Matt Healy; AJ MacGinty, Kieran Marmion; Ronan Loughney, Tom McCartney, Finlay Bealham, Ultan Dillane, Aly Muldowney, Eoin McKeon, Jake Heenan, John Muldoon (capt).
Replacements: Dave Heffernan, JP Cooney, Rodney Ah You, Andrew Browne, Sean O’Brien, John Cooney, Shane O’Leary, Peter Robb.