Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership

Become A Member
Dublin: 5°C Thursday 4 March 2021

Aki and Oliver come into Connacht starting XV for visit of Pat Lam's Bristol

Andy Friend’s men hope to deliver more of the good stuff from Paris last weekend.

Oliver and Aki come into the starting XV.
Oliver and Aki come into the starting XV.
Image: INPHO

ANDY FRIEND HAS made two changes to his Connacht XV for Sunday’s Champions Cup clash with Pat Lam’s Bristol at the Sportsground in Galway [KO 5.30pm, BT Sport].

Bundee Aki returns to the team in midfield, while Conor Oliver comes in at openside flanker.

Connacht are hoping to build on last weekend’s encouraging performance away to Racing 92, when they picked up a losing bonus point despite being heavy underdogs.

Ireland international Aki replaces Tom Daly, who drops to the bench, and will partner Sammy Arnold in the centre combination.

Oliver is selected ahead of Jarrad Butler, who is also on the bench, as 23-year-old number eight Paul Boyle captains the side again.

Sean Masterson has recovered from the injury that forced him off just before half time in the defeat to Racing in Paris. 

Former Connacht boss Lam has included ex-Connacht wing Niyi Adeolokun on the Bristol bench, while former Leinster hooker Bryan Byrne starts.


15. John Porch 
14. Alex Wootton 
13. Sammy Arnold 
12. Bundee Aki
11. Matt Healy
10. Jack Carty
9. Kieran Marmion

1. Denis Buckley 
2. Dave Heffernan
3. Finlay Bealham
4. Eoghan Masterson
5. Ultan Dillane
6. Sean Masterson 
7. Conor Oliver
8. Paul Boyle (captain)

Be part
of the team

Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership.

Become a Member


16. Shane Delahunt 
17. Jordan Duggan 
18. Jack Aungier 
19. Cian Prendergast 
20. Jarrad Butler
21. Caolin Blade
22. Tom Daly
23. Tiernan O’Halloran


15. Max Malins
14. Ratu Naulago
13. Piers O’Conor
12. Siale Piutau
11. Alapati Leiua
10. Callum Sheedy
9. Harry Randall

1. Jake Woolmore
2. Bryan Byrne
3. Kyle Sinckler
4. Dave Attwood
5. Ed Holmes
6. Steven Luatua (captain)
7. Ben Earl
8. Nathan Hughes


16. Will Capon
17. Max Lahiff
18. John Afoa
19. Joe Joyce
20. Daniel Thomas
21. Andy Uren
22. Ioan Lloyd
23. Niyi Adeolokun

Referee: Mike Adamson [SRU].

About the author:

Murray Kinsella

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel