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O’Halloran Back In Connacht Team For Historic Clash With Kings

O’Halloran Back In Connacht Team For Historic Clash With Kings

Returning full-back Tiernan O’Halloran will start for Connacht in Saturday’s historic GUINNESS PRO14 clash with South Africa’s Southern Kings at the Sportsground (kick-off 7.35pm).

Tiernan O’Halloran, who had knee surgery at the end of last season, will don the number 15 jersey as Connacht head coach Kieran Keane makes three changes to the team that lost 18-12 to Glasgow Warriors last Saturday night.
Centre Tom Farrell and flanker Sean O’Brien are also included in the starting XV with Eoin Griffin and Eoghan Masterson taking their places among the replacements. In accommodating O’Halloran’s return to the back-three, Darragh Leader moves from full-back to the right wing.

Looking forward to his second competitive game at the Sportsground, Keane said: “Tiernan returned to full training in the past week and we are very happy with his progress so he starts at full-back.

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“The Kings have a good few changes in personnel from their time in Super Rugby but I expect their style of play to remain the same. We are expecting a tough physical game and some exciting rugby on Saturday and our guys are going to have to be ready for that.”

Prop Denis Buckley, who continues as the westerners’ starting loosehead, added: “We worked hard on our scrum during the week after the Glasgow match. We are expecting a tough encounter with the Kings and we will be very focused on our processes and decision making on the field. The South Africans are known for playing an exciting brand of rugby and we expect that to be the same on Saturday.”
A limited number of tickets are still available for Connacht v Southern Kings with a 15% saving when purchased online. Newly-crowned All-Ireland Senior Hurling champions Galway will be Connacht’s special guests at the Sportsground on Saturday night. Galway manager Michael Donoghue and his players, along with the Liam MacCarthy Cup, will be introduced to the crowd at the Sportsground.
CONNACHT (v Southern Kings): Tiernan O’Halloran, Darragh Leader, Tom Farrell, Bundee Aki, Matt Healy, Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion; Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney, Finlay Bealham, Ultan Dillane, James Cannon, Sean O’Brien, Jarrad Butler, John Muldoon (capt).

Replacements: Dave Heffernan, Denis Coulson, Conor Carey, Quinn Roux, Eoghan Masterson, Caolin Blade, Steve Crosbie, Eoin Griffin.