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Captain Butler back to bolster Connacht for Gloucester trip

A training ground injury for Matt Healy has forced Friend to switch John Porch to fullback.

CONNACHT HEAD COACH Andy Friend has boosted by the return of captain Jarrad Butler in much more familiar looking line-up for Sunday’s Heineken Champions Cup pool 5 clash away to Gloucester (kick-off 1pm, BT Sport).

Although the western province have been dealt a blow with a training ground injury to Matt Healy, Butler is named as number 8 behind an experienced pack headed up by Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney and Finlay Bealham.

In all, there are eight changes to the starting line-up from the side who gave Toulouse a scare two weeks ago. Niyi Adeolokun comes in in place of Healy, with the in-form John Porch switching to fullback.

Bundee Aki and Peter Robb form a powerful midfield axis for Jack Carty and Caolin Blade to provide for.

Blade will be deputised by Stephen Kerins wth Kieran Marmion unable to shake off his back issue.

Gloucester

15. Tom Marshall
14. Louis Rees-Zammit
13. Chris Harris
12. Mark Atkinson
11. Ollie Thorley
10. Danny Cipriani
9. Joe Simpson

1. Val Rapava Ruskin
2. Franco Marais
3. Fraser Balmain
4. Gerbrandt Grobler
5. Franco Mostert
6. Ruan Ackermann
7. Jake Polledri
8. Ben Morgan Capt

Replacements:

16. Todd Gleave
17. Josh Hohneck
18. Jamal Ford-Robinson
19. Alex Craig
20. Lewis Ludlow
21. Callum Braley
22. Billy Twelvetrees
23. Matt Banahan

Connacht Rugby

15. John Porch
14. Niyi Adeolokun
13. Bundee Aki
12. Peter Robb
11. Kyle Godwin
10. Jack Carty
9. Caolin Blade

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1. Denis Buckley
2. Tom McCartney
3. Finlay Bealham
4. Joe Maksymiw
5. Quinn Roux
6. Eoghan Masterson
7. Colby Fainga’a
8. Jarrad Butler Capt

Replacements:

16. Jonny Murphy
17. Matthew Burke
18. Dominic Robertson-McCoy
19. Ultan Dillane
20. Robin Copeland
21. Stephen Kerins
22. Conor Fitzgerald
23. Tom Daly

About the author:

Sean Farrell

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