Heffernan, Mallon, Cordero start for Connacht in Leinster clash

Heffernan, Mallon, Cordero start for Connacht in Leinster clash

Dave Heffernan, Shane Mallon and Santiago Cordero will each make milestone appearances in Friday’s BKT United Rugby Championship interpro with Leinster in Dublin (k/o 7.35pm)

Ballina man Heffernan will make his 200th appearance for the club, coming 12 years after he first made his debut for his home province. He becomes just the 8th Connacht player to reach the milestone.

Academy back three player Shane Mallon has been handed a debut for his home province, with the Leitrim man named on the left wing, while Santiago Cordero makes his first Connacht start at full-back.

The front row of Peter Dooley, Dave Heffernan and Finlay Bealham is unchanged, while Niall Murray comes into the second row to partner Joe Joyce. In the back row Cian Prendergast and Sean Jansen are retained, with Conor Oliver named at openside flanker.

Caolin Blade and captain Jack Carty start, while there’s a centre partnership of Cathal Forde and David Hawkshaw. Shane Jennings completes the side on the right wing.

Head Coach Pete Wilkins says:

“Although disappointed we have put ourselves in a position where we are relying on other results to secure our place in the URC top 8, there is no greater incentive for a performance than an away game against Leinster. Both the rivalry and the connections between the two provinces are special, and we have approached this week with excitement, focus and determination.

For Dave Heffernan to be making his 200th Connacht appearance, and Shane Mallon his first, typifies the Connacht ethos of developing local players who understand how special it is to play for this province. Dave and Shane’s families, friends and local communities can be very proud of their respective milestones.

We must ensure we deliver a top-class performance on Friday evening, not only to mark the occasion for these men, but also to ensure our season marches on beyond this weekend and reward our fantastic supporters who have given us so much energy and belief across the season.”


19:35, Friday 31st May 2024 @ RDS Arena

Number/name/caps (* denotes uncapped)

15. Santiago Cordero (1)

14. Shane Jennings (13)

13. David Hawkshaw (29)

12. Cathal Forde (30)

11. Shane Mallon *

10. Jack Carty (210) (C)

9. Caolin Blade (190)

1. Peter Dooley (36)

2. Dave Heffernan (199)

3. Finlay Bealham (203)

4. Joe Joyce (20)

5. Niall Murray (74)

6. Cian Prendergast (66)

7. Conor Oliver (83)

8. Sean Jansen (6)

16. Dylan Tierney-Martin (35)

17. Denis Buckley (247)

18. Jack Aungier (66)

19. Darragh Murray (24)

20. Seán O’Brien (8)

21. Colm Reilly (26)

22. Byron Ralston (30)

23. Tom Daly (80)

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