Leinster and Connacht name teams for inter-pro clash

Leinster and Connacht name teams for inter-pro clash

Both Leinster and Munster have named their sides for the round 7 fixture of the BKT United Rugby Championship encounter later this evening. The game will take place at 19:35 at the Sportsground in Galway.

Connacht's head coach, Pete Wilkins, has named Ireland international Mack Hansen for the first time this season. He is one of seven changes made to the side. Hansen is joined in a back three by Tiernan O’Halloran and Diarmuid Kilgallen on the wings.

Cathal Forde and Byron Ralston start in midfield. The remaining backs consist of scrum-half Caolin Blade, who captains the side. JJ Hanrahan is selected at out-half.

In the front pack, an all-new front row of Peter Dooley, Dave Heffernan, and Jack Aungier start. Cian Prendergast and Oisin Dowling start in the second row. Darragh Murray, Seamus Hurley-Langton, and Sean Jansen complete the Connacht pack.

Commenting ahead of the game, head coach Pete Wilkins says: “Leinster at The Sportsground is one of the marquee games you look forward to every season. You can feel the buzz of anticipation both among the squad and supporters, and with a sold-out crowd behind us, it’ll be a fantastic occasion.

We’re very aware of Leinster’s strengths and the challenge they’ll pose, but we’re also confident in our abilities and the game plan we’ve put together. Mack’s return is a timely boost, and it’s a 23 I think is well capable of a victory, while also taking into account the short turnaround into Champions Cup next Friday."

Mack Hansen is back (Photo By Harry Murphy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Moving over to Leinster, Head Coach Leo Cullen has named his lineup too. Scott Penny has been named as captain.

Ciarán Frawley starts in Galway at full-back. Rob Russell and Jamie Osborne are on the wings. In the centre, Charlie Ngatai and Robbie Henshaw start for the first time. The backs are completed by Ben Murphy and Harry Byrne in the half-backs.

Ronan Kelleher is joined in the front row by the returning Ed Byrne and Michael Ala’alatoa. In the engine room, Ryan Baird and Jason Jenkins get the nod by Cullen.

The side is completed by a back-row of Penny, Max Deegan, and James Culhane.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s match, Leinster Assistant Coach Robin McBryde said Connacht will prove to be difficult opponents, especially up front.

“Connacht has the most successful defensive lineout in the league. They have athletes in the pack. We know they will be very competitive. We know a number of their front rowers too, so we know their scrum will be very strong. They will be very tough opposition.”

If you would like to watch the game, it's available live on RTÉ2 and Premier Sports 1.

Connacht Rugby:

Full-back: Tiernan O’Halloran (15) Winger: Mack Hansen (14) Winger: Diarmuid Kilgallen (11)
Centre: Cathal Forde (12) Centre: Byron Ralston (13)
Scrum-half: Caolin Blade (9) - Captain Out-half: JJ Hanrahan (10)
8. Prop: Peter Dooley (1) Hooker: Dave Heffernan (2) Prop: Jack Aungier (3)
Lock: Cian Prendergast (4) Lock: Oisin Dowling (5)
Flanker: Darragh Murray (6) Flanker: Seamus Hurley-Langton (7) Number 8: Sean Jansen (8)

Connacht - Dylan Tierney-Martin (16), Denis Buckley (17), Finlay Bealham (18), Niall Murray (19), Paul Boyle (20), Michael McDonald (21), David Hawkshaw (22), Conor Oliver (23)

Leinster Rugby:
Full-back: Ciarán Frawley (15) Winger: Rob Russell (14) Winger: Jamie Osborne (11)
Centre: Charlie Ngatai (13) Centre: Robbie Henshaw (12)
Scrum-half: Ben Murphy (8) Out-half: Harry Byrne (10)
8. Prop: Ed Byrne (1) Hooker: Rónan Kelleher (2) Prop: Michael Ala’alatoa (3)
Lock: Ryan Baird (4) Lock: Jason Jenkins (5)
Flanker: Scott Penny (6) - Captain Flanker: Max Deegan (7) Number 8: James Culhane (9)
Replacements for Both Teams:

Leinster - Lee Barron (16), Cian Healy (17), Tadhg Furlong (18), Ross Molony (19), Jack Conan (20), Cormac Foley (21), Liam Turner (22), Will Connors (23)

Referee: Andrew Brace (IRFU)