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Former Australia U20 out-half will start for Connacht in crucial Cardiff clash

Andrew Deegan, Craig Ronaldson and Dave Heffernan have all been given a first start of the season by Kieran Keane.

Deegan pins Rory Scholes in training.
Deegan pins Rory Scholes in training.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

NEW SIGNING ANDREW Deegan has been named to start for his first Connacht appearance when Kieran Keane’s men meet conference rivals Cardiff in the Sportsground tomorrow (kick-off 15.15, Sky Sports).

The former Waratahs out-half will have experienced playmakers either side of him as Kieran Marmion is also among the 10 changes while centre Craig Ronaldson makes his first start of the season with Bundee Aki in the 13 shirt.

Ronaldson also looks likely to act as out-half cover as centres Tom Farrell and Stacey Ili are named among the replacements despite no reported injury for Jack Carty.

A hip injury has kept Tiernan O’Halloran out meaning Cian Kelleher comes into a reshuffled back three. Ultan Dillane will add some welcome power to a pack that will also boast carrying threat from from hooker Dave Heffernan as he makes his first start of the campaign.

Kieran Keane Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

The man opposite Heffernan will be a boost for the visitors as Lions tourist Kristian Dacey has regained fitness to take his place along side Taufa’ao Filise in the Blues front row.

Having won one of their opening three matches under Keane, Connacht will be desperate to bring their record to 2-2 as it will be a month before Munster visit for the next Pro14 fixture in Galway.

Connacht

15. Darragh Leader
14. Cian Kelleher
13. Bundee Aki
12. Craig Ronaldson
11. Rory Scholes
10. Andrew Deegan
9. Kieran Marmion

1. Denis Buckley
2. Dave Heffernan
3. Finlay Bealham
4. Ultan Dillane
5. Quinn Roux
6. Eoghan Masterson
7. Jarrad Butler
8. John Muldoon (Capt)

Replacements:

16. Shane Delahunt
17. Denis Coulson
18. Conor Carey
19. Gavin Thornbury
20. Eoin McKeon
21. Caolin Blade
22. Tom Farrell
23. Stacey Ili

Cardiff Blues

15. Rhun Williams
14. Alex Cuthbert
13. Rey Lee-Lo
12. Willis Halaholo
11. Tom James
10. Steve Shingler
9. Lloyd Williams

1. Brad Thyer
2. Kristian Dacey
3. Taufa’ao Filise
4. Seb Davies
5. Damian Welch
6. Josh Turnbull
7. Josh Navidi
8. Nick Williams.

Replacements:

16. Ethan Lewis
17. Corey Domachowski
18. Keiron Assiratti
19. George Earle
20. Olly Robinson
21. Tomos Williams
22. Jarrod Evans
23. Matthew Morgan

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