Four changes to Connacht for trip to Cardiff in URC

Four changes to Connacht for trip to Cardiff in URC

Connacht head coach Pete Wilkins has named his side for tomorrow’s trip to Cardiff in the BKT United Rugby Championship (k/o 5.15pm). 

There are four changes from the side that saw off Bristol Bears in their last outing, with Dave Heffernan, Jack Aungier, Conor Oliver and the fit-again Cathal Forde coming into the starting 15. 

Forde partners David Hawkshaw in the centre while the back three of full-back Tiernan O’Halloran and wingers Shayne Bolton and Andrew Smith is unchanged. Caolin Blade captains the side from scrum-half with JJ Hanrahan alongside him. 

Denis Buckley plays alongside Heffernan and Aungier in the front row, while the second row of Niall Murray and Joe Joyce is unchanged. The backrow sees Cian Prendergast move to the number 8 jersey, with Shamus Hurley-Langton going to blindside flanker and Oliver at openside. 

Commenting ahead of the game, head coach Pete Wilkins says: 

“The break was helpful for a number of reasons - both in terms of giving the group some down-time after 13 straight weeks, and then allowing us the time to put in some good training sessions and work on the areas we’d like to improve on. Coupled with the return of a few players back from injury, everyone’s really positive about the next block of games starting tomorrow. 

 We’ve had some close battles with Cardiff down the years and historically they’re one of the teams we’re competing with for a playoff spot, so we fully appreciate the importance of the game. If we play to our strengths and take the opportunities when they come, it’ll give us a great chance to come home with the win.” 

17:15, Saturday 17th February 2024 @ Cardiff Arms Park  

15. Tiernan O’Halloran (229)
14. Shayne Bolton (10)
13. David Hawkshaw (22)
12. Cathal Forde (21)
11. Andrew Smith (7)
10. JJ Hanrahan (12)
9. Caolin Blade (182) (C)
1. Denis Buckley (240)
2. Dave Heffernan (189)
3. Jack Aungier (60)
4. Niall Murray (66)
5. Joe Joyce (11)
6. Shamus Hurley-Langton (30)
7. Conor Oliver (75)
8. Cian Prendergast (59)

16. Tadgh McElroy (10)
17. Peter Dooley (29)
18. Sam Illo (14)
19. Oisín Dowling (53)
20. Jarrad Butler (122)
21. Michael McDonald (5)
22. Jack Carty (204)
23. Tom Farrell (106)

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