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Dublin: 15 °C Thursday 28 May, 2020

Ireland call-ups Blade and Carty on the bench as Connacht name side for Bordeaux

Andy Friend has shuffled the deck for Connacht’s trip to Bordeaux, where a win would guarantee them a quarter-final spot.

Quinn Roux will captain Connacht for the first time in France.
Quinn Roux will captain Connacht for the first time in France.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

IRELAND CALL-UPS CAOLIN Blade and Jack Carty have been named among the replacements ahead of Connacht’s trip to Bordeaux-Begles in the Challenge Cup.

A new half-back pairing consisting of academy scrum-half Stephen Kerins and last week’s game-winner David Horwitz will start for the westerners, with Quinn Roux captaining the side for the first time.

The 22-year-old Kerins from Sligo will be making his debut, while summer recruit Horwitz tapped over the decisive penalty against Sale in Round 5 of the pool stage.

Bundee Aki and Tom Farrell start in midfield for Any Friend’s men, and in the pack there is a return to action for number eight Eoin McKeon who hasn’t featured since damaging his shoulder against Glasgow on the first day of the season.

In one of six changes up front, Shane Delahunt has been selected at hooker, with his prospective replacement Jonny Murphy being named in the matchday panel for the first time.

David Horwitz kicks a penalty David Horwitz kicks a penalty against the Sale Sharks. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

“We know that a win of any description will secure a quarter-final spot,” said head coach Friend.

“Achieving any win away in France is difficult. French teams pride themselves on their home record and make it difficult for the opposition and we expect Bordeaux to be no different. Having said that we will be sticking to the approach that has served us well this season and we will be focusing on our own game.

“We haven’t really looked at all the different permutations. All we know is we need to get to Bordeaux and do a job. Ideally, it would be a bonus-point win but a win is all we’re focusing on at the minute.”


Tiernan O’Halloran
Darragh Leader
Tom Farrell
Bundee Aki
Matt Healy
David Horwitz
Stephen Kerins

Pete McCabe
Shane Delahunt
Finlay Bealham
Gavin Thornbury
Quinn Roux (C)
Paul Boyle
James Connolly
Eoin McKeon


Jonny Murphy
Matthew Burke
Dominic Robertson-McCoy
James Connon
Eoghan Masterson
Caolin Blade
Jack Carty
Eoin Griffin


Laurent Delboulbes
Maxime Lamothe
Viliamu Afatia
Mariano Galarza
Cyril Cazeaux
Cameron Woki
Alexandre Roumat (C)
Leroy Houston

Baptiste Serin
Lucas Meret
George Tilsley
Ulupano Seuteni
Seta Tamanivalu
Nicolas Plazy
Darly Domvo


Adrien Pelissié
Jefferson Poirot
Vadim Cobilas
Afa Amosa
Nathan Decron
Jules Gimbert
Simon Desaubies
Geoffrey Cros

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