Wednesday 1 February 2023 Dublin: 6°C
Bryan Keane/INPHO Bundee Aki at training this week.
# Team news
Aki left out while Deegan and Coulson come in for Connacht's European opener
Kieran Keane has shown his hand for the province’s Challenge Cup clash against Oyonnax.

CONNACHT HEAD COACH Kieran Keane has named his side to face French Top 14 side Oyonnax tomorrow evening (7pm Irish time) in Geneva, Switzerland.

Keane has opted to rest Bundee Aki, with the centre having played the full 80 minutes in all six of Connacht’s games this season. Eoin Griffin and Tom Farrell form the new pairing in his absence.

Australian out-half Andrew Deegan and loosehead prop Denis Coulson — who returned to home soil from Grenoble this year — are both set to make their European debuts for the province.

There’s several other changes to the side that were defeated by Ulster last week –  Darragh Leader coming in for Tiernan O’Halloran at 15 following his early exit at Ravenhill, among them.

“Oyonnax are in a similar situation to us and both teams are looking to build some momentum,” Keane said ahead of the game.

“This competition is a new thing for me and quite a few of the boys, the fact that we’re playing in Geneva is a really interesting situation for us so there are a lot of new aspects to it.”

Connacht (v Oyonnax)

15. Darragh Leader
14. Cian Kelleher
13. Eoin Griffin
12. Tom Farrell
11. Matt Healy
10. Andrew Deegan
9. Caolin Blade

1. Denis Coulson
2. Tom McCartney
3. Finlay Bealham
4. Ultan Dillane
5. James Cannon
6. Eoghan Masterson
7. Eoin McKeon
8. John Muldoon – captain


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