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Six changes for Connacht as Blade set to make 150th appearance against Sharks

Head coach Andy Friend is hoping to make it a clean sweep against the South African sides in the URC this season.

Connacht's Caolin Blade.
Connacht's Caolin Blade.
Image: INPHO

THE CONNACHT TEAM to face the Cell C Sharks in the URC this weekend has been announced. 

Saturday afternoon (kick-off 3.05pm Irish time) sees the province in action at Durban’s Hollywoodbets Kings Park, following last weekend’s win over Emirates Lions. 

They’ve also beaten the other two South African sides – the Vodacom Bulls and the DHL Stormers – this season, so a win tomorrow would make it a clean sweep.

Head coach Andy Friend has made six changes to that team as Finlay Bealham, Gavin Thornbury, Leva Fifita, Conor Oliver, Conor Fitzgerald and Tom Farrell all get the nod. 

Scrum-half Caolin Blade is also set to reach the milestone of 150 appearances for Connacht.

“Beating all four South African teams would be a tremendous achievement but we’re full aware we’ve a significant task ahead of us tomorrow,’ said Friend.

The Sharks have named a side full of Springbok internationals and will have a large and passionate fanbase behind them in Durban.

“That said, the group has taken huge confidence from the win in Johannesburg and the atmosphere around the camp all week has been really positive.”

Connacht team v Cell C Sharks

15. Mack Hansen 
14. John Porch 
13. Tom Farrell 
12. Tom Daly 
11. Alex Wootton 
10. Conor Fitzgerald 
9. Caolin Blade 

1. Denis Buckley 
2. Dave Heffernan 
3. Finlay Bealham 
4. Gavin Thornbury 
5. Leva Fifita 
6. Cian Prendergast 
7. Conor Oliver 
8. Jarrad Butler (captain)

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16. Dylan Tierney-Martin
17. Jordan Duggan 
18. Jack Aungier 
19. Niall Murray 
20. Oisín Dowling 
21. Kieran Marmion 
22. Jack Carty 
23. Tiernan O’Halloran 

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