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Connacht call in favour from Farrell

Ireland coach happy to release Ultan Dillane and Dave Heffernan to play for their province after Italy game gets called off.

Dillane is back in a Connacht shirt this weekend.
Dillane is back in a Connacht shirt this weekend.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

IRELAND’S DIFFICULTY HAS become Connacht’s opportunity after Ultan Dillane and Dave Heffernan were released by Andy Farrell to hook up with their province for this week’s trip to South Africa.

Connacht play the Southern Kings on Sunday in a vital game as they bid to make the play-offs for the second year in a row.

Their only absentee now will be Bundee Aki, who remains with the Ireland squad. However, Heffernan and Dillane were released to Andy Friend as soon as it became clear the Italy match, on Saturday week, was not going ahead.

“Andy Farrell has been great to us,” said Friend prior to today’s announcement.

The Connacht squad are not due back in Ireland until Monday, which would have interrupted Dillane and Heffernan’s preparatory plans for the Italy game. That is no longer an issue, hence the decision to release them  to their province to get much-needed game-time.

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Garry Doyle

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