Connacht head coach Andy Friend will welcome back his returning Ireland stars Jack Carty and Bundee Aki for Friday night’s clash with Leinster at the Sportsground in Galway (KO 19:35).
Jack Carty comes straight back into the side to steer the ship from 10 where he is joined by Caolin Blade at scrum-half. Peter Robb, who was excellent in last week’s win over the Ospreys in Wales, continues at inside centre where is partnered by Tom Farrell. This means Bundee Aki is among the replacements.
The back-three consists of Stephen Fitzgerald, Niyi Adeolokun and Darragh Leader at fullback.
Up front, Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney and Finlay Bealham form the front-row while Cillian Gallagher and Joe Maksymiw start in the second-row. Jarrad Butler captains the side at openside where he is joined by Eoghan Masterson and Paul Boyle at number eight.
Commenting ahead of the game, Connacht Head Coach Andy Friend said: “We are happy with the start we have made in the PRO14 with four wins in a row. What is even more satisfying is the depth we have already displayed, with 35 players already used in the opening five games. With Jack Carty, Bundee Aki and Sean O’Brien all coming back in this week, that number will hopefully go to 38”.
“We obviously face another huge challenge this weekend against Leinster but our challenge is to just maintain the consistency we have seen over the past few weeks both at home and away. We take huge pride in our home record, with just one loss in thirteen games and we expect a massive crowd again on Friday night”, he added.
Connacht Matchday Squad V Leinster (Fri 8 NOV, 7:35 PM)
Connacht: Darragh Leader, Niyi Adeolokun, Tom Farrell, Peter Robb, Stephen Fitzgerald, Jack Carty, Caolin Blade, Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney, Finlay Bealham, Cillian Gallagher, Joe Maksymiw, Eoghan Masterson, Jarrad Butler (C), Paul Boyle.
Replacements: Dave Heffernan, Matthew Burke, Dominic Robertson-McCoy, Sean O’Brien, Colby Fainga’a, Kieran Marmion, Bundee Aki, Kyle Godwin.