Connacht team named to face Cardiff Blues

Finlay Bealham comes into the front row for his first start of the season and to replace Rodney Ah You who picked up a hamstring injury during the week.

Galway man Eoin McKeon returns from injury to make a start at Number 8 in a back row with captain John Muldoon and Nepia-Fox Matamua.

Ireland international Kieran Marmion will start at scrum half in an otherwise unchanged back line.

From the bench, experienced forwards Aly Muldowney and George Naoupu are both in line to make their season debut while year one Academy prop Conan O’Donnell is named in the match day squad for the first time. The 19-year-old from Sligo has nine Ireland Under-20 caps from last season’s World Rugby Championship and Six Nations competitions.

Connacht line-up v Cardiff Blues

15. Tiernan O’Halloran
14. Danie Poolman
13. Rory Parata
12. Bundee Aki
11. Matt Healy
10. Jack Carty
9. Kieran Marmion

1. Denis Buckley
2. Tom McCartney
3. Finlay Bealham
4. Quinn Roux
5. Andrew Browne
6. John Muldoon (captain)
7. Nepia Fox-Matamua
8. Eoin McKeon

Replacements:

16. Dave Heffernan
17. JP Cooney
18. Conan O’Donnell
19. Aly Muldowney
20. George Naoupu
21. John Cooney
22. Craig Ronaldson
23. Fionn Carr

Unavailable / Injured: Jason Harris-Wright, Nathan White, Rodney Ah You, Ronan Loughney, Ben Marshall, Ultan Dillane, Jake Heenan, Eoghan Masterson, Api Pewhairangi, Robbie Henshaw, Dave McSharry, Shane O’Leary, Conor Finn.

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