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Connacht's Kiwi rugby league convert wears 13 against Grenoble

Api Pewhairangi partners Bundee Aki in the midfield tomorrow in Galway.

NEW CONNACHT SIGNING Api Pewhairangi will make his first appearance for the province in the 13 jersey after being named in Pat Lam’s XV for tomorrow’s pre-season friendly against Grenoble at the Sportsground (KO 17.15).

Api Pewhairangi Source: Photosport/Andrew Cornaga/INPHO

New Zealander Pewhairangi is a rugby league convert, having previously played in the NRL with the Parramatta Eels. The 23-year-old also represented Ireland at the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, qualifying through his Lucan-born grandmother.

Pewhairangi joined Pat Lam’s squad this summer and, as expected, makes his transition into the 15-man code in the centre, where he partners Bundee Aki for tomorrow’s clash with Bernard Jackman’s visiting Grenoble.

Darragh Leader, Fionn Carr and Danie Poolman make up a powerful back three, while Jack Carty steers the ship from 10 and Ian Porter starts at scrum-half.

JP Cooney, Tom McCartney and Ireland international Rodney Ah You form the front row, as the promising pair of Ultan Dillane and Danny Qualter fill the engine room. Captain John Muldoon is joined by James Connolly and Eoin McKeon in the back row.

Ben Marshall Ben Marshall is part of a promising bench selection. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

New lock Ben Marshall is among the 14 replacements, having signed from Leinster in the summer, as is prop Nathan White, who has trained with Joe Schmidt’s Ireland recently.

Connacht (v Grenoble):

15. Darragh Leader
14. Fionn Carr
13. Api Pewhairangi
12. Bundee Aki
11. Danie Poolman
10. Jack Carty
9. Ian Porter

1. JP Cooney
2. Tom McCartney
3. Rodney Ah You
4. Ultan Dillane
5. Danny Qualter
6. John Muldoon (captain)
7. James Connolly
8. Eoin McKeon

Replacements:

Finlay Bealham
Nathan White
Jamie Dever
Jacob Walshe
Shane Delahunt
Ben Marshall
Sean O’Brien
George Naoupu

Caolin Blade
Shane O’Leary
Conor McKeon
Dave McSharry
Rory Parata
Niyi Adeolokun

Tickets for Connacht v Grenoble are available from tickets.ie. Season ticket holders are granted free entry to the game. 

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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