Connacht make three changes for Leinster interpro

Connacht Ireland Australia Mack Hansen

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Connacht have made three changes to their starting XV for Friday’s interprovincial clash with Leinster at the RDS Arena (k/o 7.45 pm).

Oisín Dowling, Eoghan Masterson and Peter Robb are named to start in the second row, blindside flanker and inside centre respectively after getting minutes from the bench last week,

The rest of the team is unchanged from the one that ran in seven tries against Ospreys, meaning Robb is partnered by Sammy Arnold with a back three of wingers Mack Hansen and Alex Wootton and full-back Oran McNulty.

Kieran Marmion and captain Jack Carty continue at 9 and 10 respectively.

The front row of Matthew Burke, Dave Heffernan and Finlay Bealham makes its fifth straight start, while Ultan Dillane partners Dowling in the second row.

Masterson’s inclusion means Jarrad Butler moves to number 8 while Conor Oliver completes the line-up from openside.

The replacements include Cian Prendergast and Tom Farrell who both return to the matchday 23 having recovered from injuries.

Head Coach Andy Friend says: “Last week was pleasing not just to pick up 5 points but to continue our recent level of performances, even with a substantial break in the middle. The challenge for all of us now is to raise our game even more, away to one of the best sides in Europe.

We’ll take confidence from our win at the RDS last January, and our travelling supporters will be a big help as always. This game will tell a lot about where we are right now so we’re really looking forward to it.”

Connacht Team V Leinster Rugby

15. Oran McNulty (3)
14. Alex Wootton (23)
13. Sammy Arnold (21)
12. Peter Robb (48)
11. Mack Hansen (6)
10. Jack Carty (165) (C)
9. Kieran Marmion (192)
1. Matthew Burke (29)
2. Dave Heffernan (150)
3. Finlay Bealham (165)
4. Oisín Dowling (12)
5. Ultan Dillane (120)
6. Eoghan Masterson (114)
7. Conor Oliver (26)
8. Jarrad Butler (79)

16. Shane Delahunt (106)
17. Jordan Duggan (18)
18. Jack Aungier (19)
19. Leva Fifita (2)
20. Cian Prendergast (14)
21. Caolin Blade (136)
22. Conor Fitzgerald (40)
23. Tom Farrell (65)

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