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Delahunt To Become Connacht Centurion In Season Finale

Delahunt To Become Connacht Centurion In Season Finale

Shane Delahunt is pictured in action against Leinster's James Tracy at the RDS ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Hooker Shane Delahunt will become Connacht’s latest centurion in their final Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup clash with the Ospreys at the Sportsground on Friday (kick-off 6pm).

Delahunt joined the Connacht Academy in the summer of 2014, and made his debut off the bench against Glasgow Warriors that September.

Following a string of appearances he was handed his first professional contract ahead of the 2016/17 season and has been a mainstay in the squad since then.

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Delahunt starts tomorrow in a freshened-up front row with props Jordan Duggan and Dominic Robertson-McCoy, while Niall Murray and Ultan Dillane continue their second row partnership.

There is one change in the back row where Eoghan Masterson comes in at number 8, and Cian Prendergast and captain Jarrad Butler are retained in the flanker roles.

Jack Carty and Caolin Blade swap back in at half-back, with the westerners’ back-line completed by Tom Daly and 2021 British & Irish Lion Bundee Aki.

The final switch is in the back-three where Australian Ben O’Donnell comes onto the left wing. Peter Sullivan is stationed on the opposite side and Alex Wootton moves to full-back.

Commenting on Delahunt and the province’s final game of the campaign, head coach Andy Friend said: “I’m delighted for Shane who becomes the latest centurion in the squad. He always gives us huge energy.

“He’s had a big increase in game-time this season which is a testament to him and how he’s performed. He’s a great character and a popular member of the dressing room too.

“We’d obviously prefer to be in the chasing pack for the final but it’s still important we finish the season on a high.

“It’s been such a strange and long twelve months for all the players and staff, but we owe it to ourselves, the supporters and our departing players and staff that we do everything to win this one.”

CONNACHT (v Ospreys): Alex Wootton; Peter Sullivan, Bundee Aki, Tom Daly, Ben O’Donnell; Jack Carty, Caolin Blade; Jordan Duggan, Shane Delahunt, Dominic Robertson-McCoy, Niall Murray, Ultan Dillane, Cian Prendergast, Jarrad Butler (capt), Eoghan Masterson.

Replacements: Jonny Murphy, Matthew Burke, Jack Aungier, Oisin Dowling, Sean Masterson, Kieran Marmion, Conor Fitzgerald, Sam Arnold.