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Centre Farrell To Make Full Debut For Connacht

Centre Farrell To Make Full Debut For Connacht

Connacht head coach Pat Lam has named his team to face the Newport Gwent Dragons in round 15 of the GUINNESS PRO12 at the Sportsground on Saturday night (kick-off 7.35pm). 

There are five personnel changes to the side that beat Cardiff Blues in Wales five days ago. Ireland internationals Kieran Marmion, Finlay Bealham and Ultan Dillane all come in to start this week, while centre Tom Farrell has been handed his full debut.

The 23-year-old Farrell, who joined the province from Bedford Blues last month and has made two appearances from the bench, will partner fellow former Lansdowne player Craig Ronaldson in midfield.

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Hooker Dave Heffernan, who continues his impressive run of featuring in every Connacht game so far this season, earns his seventh start in the number 2 jersey.

From the bench, the 23-year-old Steve Crosbie, who also joined the province last month, is in line to make his Connacht debut. 

Commenting on this weekend’s clash with the Dragons, Pat Lam said: “We’re all really excited to be back playing at home for the first time in five weeks. By all accounts it will be a full house here again tomorrow and that always drives us on. 

“We’re very aware of where we are in this competition and what we need to do. The Dragons will take confidence from their victory over us in round 8 so it’s really important that we are right on the money with our mental preparation and execution of the game-plan.”

The province’s currently injured/unavailable players are Conor Carey, Ivan Soroka, Conan O’Donnell, Andrew Browne, Marnitz Boshoff, Bundee Aki, Stacey Ili, Eoin Griffin, Cormac Brennan, Cian Kelleher, Darragh Leader and Josh Rowland.

CONNACHT (v Newport Gwent Dragons): Tiernan O’Halloran; Niyi Adeolokun, Tom Farrell, Craig Ronaldson, Matt Healy; Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion; Denis Buckley, Dave Heffernan, Finlay Bealham, Ultan Dillane, Quinn Roux, Sean O’Brien, Jake Heenan, John Muldoon (capt).

Replacements: Tom McCartney, Ronan Loughney, JP Cooney, James Cannon, Nepia Fox-Matamua, Caolin Blade, Steve Crosbie, Rory Parata.