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Aki returns to Connacht bench as Marmion gets first start of the season

Andy Friend has also brought Conán O’Donnell, Ultan Dillane and Niyi Adeolokun into his starting XV.

CONNACHT HAVE INCLUDED Bundee Aki on their bench for tomorrow evening’s Guinness Pro14 visit to Edinburgh [KO 7.35pm, eir Sport/Premier Sports].

Bundee Aki celebrates scoring a try Aki is set for his first appearance of the campaign. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

The Ireland international is set to feature for the first time this season as Andy Friend’s side attempt to back up last weekend’s win over Zebre with success on the road in Scotland.

Friend has made four changes to his XV, with Ireland scrum-half Kieran Marmion getting his first start of the season.

Promising Sligo prop Conán O’Donnell has been introduced at loosehead, Ultan Dillane comes into the second row and Niyi Adeolokun is named on the wing.

Adeolokun joins Tiernan O’Halloran and Matt Healy in the back three, while Eoin Griffin and Kyle Godwin continue in midfield.

Jack Carty will partner up with Marmion in the halfbacks, while the back row of Sean O’Brien, Jarrad Butler and Paul Boyle is unchanged.

Dillane is alongside Gavin Thornbury in the second row, while O’Donnell joins Dave Heffernan and Finlay Bealham in the front row. 

Peter McCabe is introduced to the matchday squad as loosehead cover, while recent Aussie signing Colby Fainga’a will hope for more game time after his debut against Zebre.

Meanwhile, Edinburgh boss Richard Cockerill has made three changes to the team that lost to Ulster last weekend, with Scotland openside Hamish Watson, wing Duhan van der Merwe and centre James Johnstone coming into the starting XV. New signing Juan Pablo Socino is set for his debut off the bench.


15. Tiernan O’Halloran
14. Niyi Adeolokun
13. Eoin Griffin
12. Kyle Godwin
11. Matt Healy
10. Jack Carty
9. Kieran Marmion

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1. Conán O’Donnell
2. Dave Heffernan
3. Finlay Bealham
4. Gavin Thornbury
5. Ultan Dillane
6. Sean O’Brien
7. Jarrad Butler (captain)
8. Paul Boyle


16. Shane Delahunt
17. Peter McCabe
18. Dominic Robertson-McCoy
19. James Cannon
20. Colby Fainga’a
21. Caolin Blade
22. Craig Ronaldson
23. Bundee Aki


15. Blair Kinghorn
14. Dougie Fife
13. James Johnstone
12. Matt Scott
11. Duhan van der Merwe
10. Simon Hickey
9. Henry Pyrgos

1. Pierre Schoeman
2. Stuart McInally (captain)
3. WP Nel
4. Ben Toolis
5. Grant Gilchrist
6. Jamie Ritchie
7. Hamish Watson
8. Luke Hamilton


16. Ross Ford
17. Allan Dell
18. Simon Berghan
19. Fraser McKenzie
20. Magnus Bradbury
21. Sean Kennedy
22. Jaco van der Walt
23. Juan Pablo Socino 

Referee: Ian Davies [WRU].

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