Former Connacht prop Conán O’Donnell will line up beside All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams in the Counties Manukau starting XV in the Mitre 10 Cup on Saturday.
O’Donnell will make his debut for the New Zealand outfit in their season opener against Auckland-based side Taranaki at Navigation Homes Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Sligo man was released by Connacht earlier this year and made five appearances for Japanese outfit Sunwolves in the 2019 Super Rugby season.
The game will also feature Williams who was released by All Blacks boss Steve Hansen to play in the early round of the Mitre 10 which is the highest tier of provincial rugby in New Zealand.
Hansen allowed Williams to leave the camp as the 34-year-old looks to prove both his form and fitness ahead of the upcoming World Cup.
The centre started the draw against South Africa two weeks ago but featured infrequently for the Blues last season thanks to injury issues.
Earlier in the month, Willams hit back at his critics on social media, who argued he was under pressure to make the All Blacks’ Rugby World Cup squad.
“And for those that say I’m under pressure playing a game that I enjoy,” Williams wrote on Twitter.
“Get your priorities right. Look at what’s going on in the world.
Starving children, the single mother raising 3 kids, the atrocities refugees are facing around the world, racism. This is what I call pressure.”