The Connacht Eagles team will play London Irish in round 5 of the British & Irish Cup at Dubarry Park in Athlone on Saturday (kick-off 2pm), and head coach Mossy Lawler has named his side.
Senior player and Ireland Sevens international Josh Rowland returns from long-term injury to start at full-back for the Eagles, with Galwegians’ Matthew Byrne and Adam Leavy completing the back-three.
Ciaran Gaffney, who made two GUINNESS PRO12 appearances for Connacht last month, lines out in the centre. The half-back pairing is once again made up of Buccaneers duo Luke Carty and Conor McKeon.
Daniel Qualter will captain the side and is one of three senior players in the pack along with prop Dominic Robertson-McCoy and blindside flanker Rory Moloney.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s round 5 fixture, Connacht Eagles head coach Mossy Lawler said: “While we’re still looking for our first win of the campaign, what we really want to see as coaches is an improved performance all round.
“Again, we have a real mix of experience going out tomorrow with limited training time. But we still see it as a great opportunity to test ourselves against a quality side. We’re looking forward to playing in Dubarry Park where a lot of the guys would be used to playing with their club side.”
CONNACHT EAGLES (v London Irish): Josh Rowland (Buccaneers); Matthew Byrne (Galwegians), Ciaran Gaffney (Galwegians), Kieran Joyce (Malone), Adam Leavy (Galwegians); Luke Carty (Buccaneers), Conor McKeon (Buccaneers); Jack Dinneen (Galwegians), Shane O’Hehir (Sligo), Dominic Robertson-McCoy (Galwegians), Cillian Gallagher (Sligo), Daniel Qualter (Buccaneers) (capt), Rory Moloney (Buccaneers), Josh Pim (Galwegians), Marc Kelly (Galwegians).
Replacements: Conor Kyne (Galwegians), Saba Meunargia (Buccaneers), Cian Romaine (Buccaneers), Sean Masterson (Corinthians), Stephen Kerins (Corinthians), Morgan Codyre (Galwegians), Joe Murphy (Corinthians).