Return of O'Halloran among changes for Bristol clash

Return of O'Halloran among changes for Bristol clash

Connacht Rugby have been boosted by the return of Tiernan O’Halloran for tomorrow’s Investec Champions Cup tie against Bristol Bears (k/o 8pm).

The experienced full-back has been absent since early December due to a foot injury, and his inclusion is one of 8 changes from the side that started the game against Lyon last week.

There’s a new centre partnership of Bundee Aki and David Hawkshaw, while the wingers of Shayne Bolton and Andrew Smith are retained. JJ Hanrahan returns to out-half while Caolin Blade captains the side from scrum-half.

In the pack there’s a return for props Denis Buckley and Finlay Bealham while Tadgh McElroy keeps his place at hooker. Niall Murray replaces his brother to start alongside former Bristol player Joe Joyce in the second row, and Shamus Hurley-Langton comes in at openside flanker alongside Cian Prendergast and number 8 Jarrad Butler.

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

“For a lot of reasons tomorrow should be a great occasion. Friday night Champions Cup games at The Sportsground are always special, and there’ll a few old faces making the visit as well. Both teams still have a lot to play for so we can’t wait for it.

I’m delighted that it’s set to be another sell-out as well, because like we saw against Munster the fans can make a huge difference during both the highs and lows of the 80 minutes. Hopefully we can send them home happy again by the end of the night.”

20:00, Friday 19th January 2024 @ The Sportsground

15. Tiernan O’Halloran (228)
14. Andrew Smith (6)
13. David Hawkshaw (21)
12. Bundee Aki (131)
11. Shayne Bolton (9)
10. JJ Hanrahan (11)
9. Caolin Blade (181)
1. Denis Buckley (239)
2. Tadgh McElroy (9)
3. Finlay Bealham (196)
4. Niall Murray (65)
5. Joe Joyce (10)
6. Cian Prendergast (58)
7. Shamus Hurley-Langton (29)
8. Jarrad Butler (121)

16. Dave Heffernan (188)
17. Peter Dooley (28)
18. Jack Aungier (59)
19. Oisín Dowling (52)
20. Conor Oliver (74)
21. Michael McDonald (4)
22. Jack Carty (203)
23. Oran McNulty (14)

Latest News