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Academy flanker handed first start for Connacht's trip to France

Cillian Gallagher has been given the nod by Kieran Keane for tomorrow’s Challenge Cup outing.

Connacht flanker Cillian Gallagher.
Connacht flanker Cillian Gallagher.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

CONNACHT HEAD COACH Kieran Keane has placed his trust in 20-year-old academy flanker Cillian Gallagher for tomorrow night’s Challenge Cup game away to Brive [KO 8pm].

The Sligo native, who made his debut as a substitute in the win over Worcester Warriors, will make his first start for the province this weekend in France.

Aiming to bounce back from last weekend’s Guinness Pro14 defeat to Zebre, Connacht will also field a new centre partnership, with recent addition Pita Ahki partnering returning Ireland international Bundee Aki in midfield.

Connacht:

15. Tiernan O’Halloran
14. Cian Kelleher
13. Pita Ahki
12. Bundee Aki
11. Matt Healy
10. Jack Carty
9. Kieran Marmion

1. Denis Buckley
2. Shane Delahunt
3. Finlay Bealham
4. Ultan Dillane
5. Quinn Roux
6. Cillian Gallagher
7. Eoghan Masterson
8. John Muldoon (captain)

Replacements:

16. Tom McCartney
17. Peter McCabe
18. Conor Carey
19. James Cannon
20. James Connolly
21. James Mitchell
22. Tom Farrell
23. Darragh Leader

Brive:

15. Gaetan Germain
14. Nadir Megdoud
13. Sevanaia Galala
12. Benjamin Petre
11. Guillaume Namy
10. Thomas Laranjeira
9. Florian Cazenave

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1. Julien Brugnaut
2. Mike Tadjer
3. Demba Bamba
4. Johan Snyman
5. Jan Uys
6. Poutasi Luafutu
7. Dominiko Waqaniborutu
8. Petrus Hauman (captain)

Replacements:

16. Louis Martin
17. Simon-Pierre Chauvac
18. James Johnston
19. Peet Marais
20. Fabien Sanconnie
21. David Delarue
22. Alfifeleti Mafi
23. Matthieu Ugalde

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