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Ireland Trio Return For Connacht’s European Play-Off

Ireland Trio Return For Connacht’s European Play-Off

Ireland internationals Niyi Adeolokun, Ultan Dillane and Matt Healy have all returned from injury to feature in Connacht’s matchday squad for Saturday’s Champions Cup play-off clash with Northampton Saints (kick-off 4pm).

Head coach Pat Lam has made seven personnel changes for the knock-out tie at Franklin’s Gardens.
Niyi Adeolokun starts on the right wing with Danie Poolman moving to partner Craig Ronaldson for a rare start in the centre.

Dave Heffernan and Finlay Bealham are both promoted to the starting front row in a week that also saw them named in Joe Schmidt’s Ireland squad for the summer tour to America and Japan.

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Sean O’Brien and Jake Heenan start in the back row along with captain John Muldoon at number 8. Ruled out through injury since February, Ultan Dillane and Matt Healy are both in line to make an appearance from the bench tomorrow.

Commenting on Saturday’s crunch encounter with his former club, Pat Lam said: “Everything over the past few weeks has been geared towards this game. We know we haven’t been anywhere near our best in the last few matches and that’s been a big disappointment for us as a team.

“We’ve had a very positive week on and off the training pitch, but we all know that the 80-plus minutes from 4pm tomorrow is when it needs to count.”

Eoin Griffin, Tom McCartney, Ronan Loughney, Nepia Fox-Matamua, Shane O’Leary, Bundee Aki, Peter Robb, Stacey Ili, Tom Farrell and Josh Rowland are all injured or unavailable for the Northampton game.
CONNACHT (v Northampton Saints): Tiernan O’Halloran; Niyi Adeolokun, Danie Poolman, Craig Ronaldson, Cian Kelleher; Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion; Denis Buckley, Dave Heffernan, Finlay Bealham, Quinn Roux, Andrew Browne, Sean O’Brien, Jake Heenan, John Muldoon (capt).

Replacements: Shane Delahunt, JP Cooney, Conor Carey, Ultan Dillane, Naulia Dawai, Caolin Blade, John Cooney, Matt Healy.