The Connacht Eagles will resume their British & Irish Cup campaign when they welcome the Ospreys Premiership Select to the Sportsground on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 2:30pm).
Eagles head coach Mossy Lawler has once again named a side featuring a mixture of senior, Academy and club players from the province.
Matt Healy returns from the knee injury that saw him withdrawn from last weekend’s GUINNESS PRO12 clash with Benetton Treviso just minutes before kick-off. The Ireland international starts on the left wing with year 1 Academy back Matthew Byrne named on the right.
Ciaran Gaffney, currently in his third year with the Academy, will start at full-back while his Galwegians club-mate Cormac Brennan forms a centre partnership with Danie Poolman. The half-back pairing is once again made up of Buccaneers duo Luke Carty and Conor McKeon.
Lawler has been able to call on an experienced pack with six forwards from the senior squad lining out against the Welshmen tomorrow.
Shane Delahunt and Dominic Robertson-McCoy will pack down in the front row with Academy prop Saba Meunargia. Daniel Qualter will captain the province again and form a second row partnership with James Cannon. Senior players Rory Moloney and James Connolly are named in the back row along with Galwegians clubman Josh Pim.
Speaking ahead of the round 3 fixture, Lawler commented: “It’s great to be back in game mode and preparing for a game at the Sportsground. It will no doubt be a tough challenge against the Ospreys but we’re looking forward to seeing how the team can perform.
“There are a lot of young Academy players getting an opportunity to show what they can do and everyone will be determined to put their hand up for the following week and the return fixture in Wales.
“While we’re obviously looking to get a positive result, the focus remains on the team performance and how individuals can perform in a game situation.”
Entry is free for all Connacht Rugby Season Ticket Holders. Under-12s are also free while it is just €;5 for all other entry available at the gate.
CONNACHT EAGLES (v Ospreys Premiership Select): Ciaran Gaffney (Galwegians); Matthew Byrne (Galwegians), Cormac Brennan (Galwegians), Danie Poolman (Buccaneers), Matt Healy (Lansdowne); Luke Carty (Buccaneers), Conor McKeon (Buccaneers); Saba Meunargia (Buccaneers), Shane Delahunt (Buccaneers), Dominic Robertson-McCoy (Galwegians), James Cannon, Daniel Qualter (Buccaneers) (capt), Rory Moloney (Buccaneers), Josh Pim (Galwegians), James Connolly (Corinthians).
Replacements: Pat O’Toole (Corinthians), Conor Kyne (Galwegians), Cian Romaine (Buccaneers), Marc Kelly (Galwegians), Stephen Kerins (Corinthians), Ed O’Keeffe (Galwegians), Joe Murphy (Corinthians).