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Dublin: 9°C Tuesday 20 April 2021

Connacht expect sparks to fly as they unleash 'electric' Farrell

The 26-year-old starts his first game of the campaign away to Ospreys this evening.

Farrell makes a break against the Cheetahs.
Farrell makes a break against the Cheetahs.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

PETER WILKINS EXPECTS another terrific example of Tom Farrell’s ability when he makes his first start of the season.

Connacht went into the weekend as PRO14 Conference B leaders and head coach Andy Friend made six changes for the trip to Liberty Stadium in Wales where they clash with Ospreys today (kick-off 17.15, TG4).

Connacht had bonus point wins over Benetton Rugby, Dragons since their opening defeat at Scarlets, and Farrell’s two tries off the bench against Cheetahs at the Sportsground last weekend were crucial to their third straight win.

“Tom is electric. He has been training particularly well. It is only the form of others that has kept him out of the starting line-up,” said Wilkins.

“He did everything you want against Cheetahs, from a player who has obviously got the quality and that spark. But you are expecting him to come on the field in a tight game and raise levels of performance.

“He gave us a terrific spark, his footwork, his off-load, the strength of his carrying in the last five metres was terrific.”

There are two changes in the Connacht backline with fullback Darragh Leader and Farrell introduced to the starting team.

Up front, hooker Dave Heffernan and tighthead prop Dominic Robertson-McCoy slot into the front row. Also making his first start in this campaign, Ultan Dillane is joined in the second row by Joe Maksymiw.

The 2016 champions top their conference but Wilkins knows it could go all wrong at Ospreys after a crushing 22-17 loss in Wales last season.

“They will be competitive. They are a physical team who look to stop you playing,” said Wilkins.

“That game in Bridgend, what they did particularly well was they played territory when necessary and kicked well behind our wingers, squeezed us.”


15. Cai Evans
14. Hanno Dirksen
13. Scott Williams
12. Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler
11. Tom Williams
10. Luke Price
9. Matthew Aubrey
1.Rhodri Jones
2.Sam Parry
3. Tom Botha
4.Marvin Orie
5. Lloyd Ashley
6. Dan Lydiate Capt
7.Olly Cracknell
8. Dan Baker


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16. Scott Otten
17. Gareth Thomas
18. Ma’afu Fia
19. Sam Cross
20. Morgan Morris
21. Reuben Morgan-Williams
22. James Hook
23. Lesley Klim


15. Darragh Leader
14. Niyi Adeolokun
13. Tom Farrell
12. Peter Robb
11. John Porch
10. Conor Fitzgerald
9. Kieran Marmion

1. Denis Buckley
2. Dave Heffernan
3. Dominic Robertson-McCoy
4. Ultan Dillane
5. Joe Maksymiw
6. Eoghan Masterson
7. Jarrad Butler Capt
8. Paul Boyle


16. Jonny Murphy
17. Matthew Burke
18. Conor Kenny
19. Cillian Gallagher
20. Robin Copeland
21. Caolin Blade
22. Tom Daly
23. Stephen Fitzgerald

About the author:

Daragh Small

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