Saturday 28 January 2023 Dublin: 6°C
James Crombie/INPHO Ultan Dillane and Quinn Roux.
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Connacht boosted by return of Ireland quartet for Ospreys visit
Ultan Dillane, Quinn Roux and Tom Farrell all start at the Sportsground on Saturday, while Caolin Blade is among the replacements.

CONNACHT WILL WELCOME back four players from international duty for tomorrow’s Pro14 Conference A game at home to Ospreys (2.45pm).

Having started for Ireland against Italy, second row pair Ultan Dillane and Quinn Roux return to the team, while Tom Farrell is back at centre alongside Peter Robb — making his first start of the season.

Another Ireland squad member, Caolin Blade, is named among the replacements.

“We have trained well and prepared well this week,” said head coach Andy Friend. “We have seen a really positive response from the players after a disappointing result last weekend in Glasgow.

“We will continue to focus on our game and what we can control, as we have done all season. We know every game now is a must win and with a two week break before our next game we are determined to finish this block on a high.”

We are boosted by four of our players coming back from international duty,” he added. “They bring a huge amount of experience to our match day squad.”

Ospreys, who sit three points behind Connacht, are missing Adam Beard, Aled Davies, Alun Wyn Jones, George North, Nicky Smith, Justin Tipuric and Owen Watkin (all Wales) and Giorgi Nemsadze (Georgia) due to international duty, while Dan Baker (knee, Sam Davies (groin), Tom Habberfield (shin), Rhodri Jones (shoulder), Dan Lydiate (elbow), Gareth Thomas (ankle) and Scott Williams (back) are all injured.

“As a group we understand the importance of this last game during the Six Nations block against Connacht who are also vying for the play-offs,” said Ospreys head coach Allen Clarke.

“Considering the off-field uncertainty the boys have been excellent, with a consistent focus on improving individually and collectively.

“There’s frustration that we’ve been on the wrong end of score-lines in each of the previous three games but also a realisation that we have the solutions to deliver a more complete performance on Saturday.

“Games against Connacht are always testing & exciting, our focus is to be the best version of ourselves.”

Connacht (v Ospreys):

15. Tiernan O’Halloran
14. Stephen Fitzgerald
13. Tom Farrell
12. Peter Robb
11. Matt Healy
10. Kyle Godwin
9. Kieran Marmion

1. Denis Buckley
2. Shane Delahunt
3. Finlay Bealham
4. Quinn Roux
5. Ultan Dillane
6. Eoin McKeon
7. Colby Fainga’a
8. Jarrad Butler (captain)


16. Tom McCartney
17. Peter McCabe
18. Conor Carey
19. James Cannon
20. Paul Boyle
21. Caolin Blade
22. Tom Daly
23. Cian Kelleher

Ospreys (v Connacht): 

15. Dan Evans
14. Hanno Dirksen
13. Cory Allen
12. James Hook
11. Keelan Giles
10. Luke Price
9. Matthew Aubrey

1. Jordan Lay
2. Scott Baldwin
3. Tom Botha
4. James King
5. Bradley Davies
6. Olly Cracknell (captain)
7. Sam Cross
8. Rob McCusker

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16. Scott Otten
17. Rowan Jenkins
18. Ma’afu Fia
19. Lloyd Ashley
20. Will Griffiths
21. Harri Morgan
22. Tom Williams
23. Luke Morgan

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