Connacht Eagles head coach Mossy Lawler has selected a blend of youth and experience in his starting XV, as the westerners aim for back-to-back wins over Richmond in the British & Irish Cup at the Sportsground on Sunday (kick-off 1pm).
Having beaten Richmond 38-17 away last weekend, the Connacht team go into the fixture in confident mood as they look to enhance their chances of reaching the B&I Cup’s quarter-final stage in the New Year.
After an outstanding place-kicking display in round 3, Conor McKeon is retained at scrum half with Australian Andrew Deegan at out-half after scoring a try in the away game. The experienced Eoin Griffin and Peter Robb, who continues his comeback from injury, form the midfield pairing.
Griffin, who comes in for Academy back Kieran Joyce, is one of three changes in personnel from last week’s clash. Ireland-capped hooker Dave Heffernan takes over from the benched Pat O’Toole with Peter Claffey joining Gavin Thornbury in the second row.
The side is captained by Buccaneers and Academy forward Paul Boyle at number 8 and he is joined in the back row by flankers Naulia Dawai and Sean Masterson, with the trio all impressing last time out. Sunday’s return game kicks off at 1pm. For live updates, tune to Galway Bay FM.
CONNACHT EAGLES (v Richmond): Matthew Byrne; Adam Leavy, Eoin Griffin, Peter Robb, Stacey Ili; Andrew Deegan, Conor McKeon; Conan O’Donnell, Dave Heffernan, Conor Kenny, Peter Claffey, Gavin Thornbury, Naulia Dawai, Sean Masterson, Paul Boyle (capt).
Replacements: Pat O’Toole, Denis Coulson, Callum Torpey, Dylan Tierney, Caolin Blade, Steve Crosbie, Craig Ronaldson.