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Dublin: 11 °C Friday 15 February, 2019
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Wallaby-capped centre to make Connacht bow as Friend names team for Pro14 opener

Glasgow Warriors begin their season with a visit to the Sportsground for the third time in as many years on Saturday.

Kyle Godwin will make his competitive debut.
Kyle Godwin will make his competitive debut.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

NEW CONNACHT HEAD coach Andy Friend has selected his starting line-up for their opening Pro14 game of the 2018/19 campaign. 

The Sportsground hosts Glasgow Warriors on Saturday (3pm), when the province will aim to take their impressive pre-season — where they claimed three wins from three — into competitive rugby. 

Recent signing Kyle Godwin will make his debut, having signed from Super Rugby side the Brumbies. The Zimbabwean-born Australia international partners Tom Farrell at centre. 

“We’ve had three good pre-season games,” Friend said. “You don’t win championships in pre-season, but you can lose them. We’re at the start line in pretty good shape but it’s what we do from here that’s important”, Friend said.

We are expecting a massive challenge from Glasgow on Saturday afternoon. They got off to a roaring start in last year’s campaign and I have no doubt they will be looking to do something similar this season.

“They have great strength and depth in their squad so it going to be a big challenge. I have heard so much about the atmosphere that our fans create in the Sportsground and I can’t wait to experience it on Saturday.”

It is the third consecutive year that these two have met at the Sportsground for the season curtain-raiser, with the Warriors claiming victory in the previous two. 

Connacht: 

15. Tiernan O’Halloran
14. Cian Kelleher
13. Kyle Godwin
12. Tom Farrell 
11. Matt Healy
10. Jack Carty
9. Caolin Blade

1. Denis Buckley
2. Dave Heffernan
3. Finlay Bealham
4. Ultan Dillane
5. James Cannon
6. Paul Boyle
7. Jarrad Butler (captain) 
8. Eoin McKeon

Replacements:

16. Shane Delahunt
17. Peter McCabe
18. Conor Carey
19. Quinn Roux
20. Cillian Gallagher
21. James Mitchell
22. Craig Ronaldson
23. Niyi Adeolokun

Glasgow Warriors: 

1. Oli Kebble
2. George Turner
3. Zander Fagerson
4. Scott Cummings 
5. Jonny Gray 
6. Rob Harley 
7. Callum Gibbins (co-captain)
8. Ryan Wilson (co-captain) 

9. George Horne 
10. Adam Hastings
11. DTH van der Merwe
12. Peter Horne
13. Nick Grigg 
14. Tommy Seymour 
15. Stuart Hogg 

Replacements:

16. Fraser Brown 
17. Alex Allan 
18. D’Arcy Rae 
19. Adam Ashe 
20. Chris Fusaro 
21. Nick Frisby 
22. Alex Dunbar 
23. Niko Matawalu 

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Ben Blake

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