Jump to main content


Kelleher And Robertson-McCoy Feature In Connacht Team

Kelleher And Robertson-McCoy Feature In Connacht Team

Connacht head coach Pat Lam has named his first matchday squad since the Guinness PRO12 final three months ago. The league champions will face Montpellier tonight (kick-off 8pm local time) as part of the Challenge Vaquerin tournament in Saint-Affrique, France.

With a number of players ruled out through injury or unavailable for selection due to an extended break after the tour to South Africa with Ireland, tonight’s game offers Pat Lam and his fellow coaches the chance to give the new summer signings and Academy players a run-out.

The starting line-up shows a combination of youth and experience as the team come up against a French side just nine days out from the start of their own Top 14 campaign.

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

Prop Dominic Robertson Mc-Coy and full-back Cian Kelleher will make their debuts for Connacht and following a two-year spell with London Irish, Galway man Eoin Griffin returns to partner Bundee Aki. Uncapped Academy back Cormac Brennan is named on the left wing with Niyi Adeolokun on the right.

Out-half Jack Carty and prop Denis Buckley, both coming back from long-term injuries, will make a welcome return against Montpellier this evening.

Commenting on the team selection and the province’s French training camp, head coach Lam said: “It’s been a good few days in France for us as a squad. Having that time away together is important in our pre-season preparation and now we have a tough test ahead of us with Montpellier just a week out from the start of their Top 14 season.

“It’s a great opportunity for the coaches and players to see where we are at and take some learnings back home with us.

“It’s a little over three weeks to go until round 1 against Glasgow Warriors back at the Sportsground so as a coaching team, we are encouraging strong competition thorughout the squad. Tonight is the perfect stage for the players to stand up to the challenge and push for a starting place in the team.”

CONNACHT (v Montpellier): Cian Kelleher; Niyi Adeolokun, Eoin Griffin, Bundee Aki, Cormac Brennan; Jack Carty, Caolin Blade; Denis Buckley, Dave Heffernan, Dominic Robertson-McCoy, Sean O’Brien, Daniel Qualter, Eoin McKeon, Jake Heenan, John Muldoon (capt).

Replacements: Shane Delahunt, Tom McCartney, Ivan Soroka, Ronan Loughney, Saba Meunargia, JP Cooney, Cian Romaine, Lewis Stevenson, James Connolly, Nepia Fox-Matamua, Conor McKeon, Conor Lowndes, Shane O’Leary, Ed O’Keeffe, Peter Robb, Rory Parata, Josh Rowland.

* Danie Poolman was a late withdrawal from the squad due to a visa issue that prevented him from travelling.

Non-playing: Finlay Bealham, Conor Carey, Ultan Dillane, Kieran Marmion, Matt Healy, Tiernan O’Halloran.