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Connacht Go Fully Loaded As They Aim To End European Campaign On A High

Connacht Team

Connacht have named their team this weekend’s clash against Montpellier in the Heineken Champions Cup (Sunday KO 3.15 pm). 

Connacht’s hopes of reaching the knockout stages were dashed last weekend when they fell to a defeat at home to Toulouse but they are determined to finish their European campaign on a high and this is reflected by the strong team which head coach Andy Friend has named.

Kieran Marmion makes a return to the starting side at scrum-half after successfully recovering from a back injury. This will be Marmion’s first appearance for Connacht since the beginning of November.

Connacht Team
Kieran Marmion

He will be joined in the backline by Jack Carty who starts at out-half. Elsewhere, the centre partnership is made up of Kyle Godwin and Bundee Aki. In the back three, Tiernan O’Halloran starts at fullback while John Porch and Matt Healy are on the wings.

Up front, Dave Heffernan, fresh off his recent call up to Ireland’s Six Nations squad, starts at hooker where he is joined by props Paddy McAllister and Dominic Robertson McCoy. Joe Maksymiw and Gavin Thornbury pack down in the engine room while Eoghan Masterson comes in at blindside with Colby Fainga’a at openside and Captain Jarrad Butler at number eight.

Connacht Team
Dave Heffernan

Commenting ahead of the game, Connacht Head Coach Andy Friend said: “We had a great win over Montpellier in the opening round but we are under no illusion that the return leg will be a huge challenge. We have picked a strong side and are aiming to win the game and regain some momentum ahead of an important block of games coming in the Pro14”.

Connacht team
Andy Friend

“We are delighted to see Kieran Marmion back from injury. He has been out since November and has worked really hard to get back on the field. His experience alongside Jack Carty, will be a boost to us on Sunday”.

Connacht Team v Montpellier (Sun 19 Dec, 3:15 pm Irish Time)

Connacht: Tiernan O’Halloran, John Porch, Kyle Godwin, Bundee Aki, Matt Healy, Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion, Paddy McAllister, Dave Heffernan, Dominic Robertson McCoy, Joe Maksymiw, Gavin Thornbury, Eoghan Masterson, Colby Fainga’a, Jarrad Butler (Capt).

Replacements: Jonny Murphy, Denis Buckley, Conor Kenny, Niall Murray, Eoin McKeon, Caolin Blade, Conor Fitzgerald, Tom Daly.

Other Team News 

Ulster have also named their team for their clash with Bath in Belfast which you can find here. 

Leinster have also named their team for their clash with Benetton in Italy which you can find here. 

Munster have also named their team for their clash with Ospreys in Limerick which you can find here. 

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Author: Sean McMahon

Sean is Deputy Editor and head rugby writer. You can contact him by email or on Twitter