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Boshoff in line for debut and Buckley returns as Connacht name strong side for Cardiff visit

The Springbok will start on the bench tomorrow night in Galway.

Marnitz Boshoff Marnitz Boshoff has been named among the replacements for Connacht's clash with Cardiff Blues. Source: Photosport/Clay Cross/INPHO

SOUTH AFRICAN INTERNATIONAL Marnitz Boshoff looks set to make his debut for Connacht in tomorrow night’s Guinness Pro12 meeting with Cardiff Blues.

The 27-year-old out-half, who was capped by the Springboks in 2014 and arrived in Ireland last month, has been named on the bench for the visit of the Welsh side to the Sportsground [KO 7.35pm, TG4].

Head coach Pat Lam has named a strong side as Connacht aim to avoid a third straight defeat. Losses to Leinster and Newport Gwent Dragons have left them in 10th place in the table on 11 points, while Cardiff are 11 points further ahead in seventh.

Having not played in two months due to injury, Denis Buckley returns to make his 100th appearance for Connacht. He’ll be joined in the front row by Conor Carey and hooker Tom McCartney, who’s also coming back from an injury lay-off.

Denis Buckley Denis Buckley is back for Connacht after a two-month absence. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

In the second row, James Cannon will make his first start for Connacht alongside Ireland international Quinn Roux, while captain John Muldoon leads an unchanged back row that also includes Eoin McKeon and Jake Heenan.

Having made his Ireland debut a fortnight ago against Canada, Niyi Adeolokun will join Cian Kelleher and Stacey Ili in the back three.

Craig Ronaldson lines up next to Bundee Aki in midfield, with scrum-half John Cooney returning from injury to partner out-half Jack Carty, who was Connacht’s Player of the Month in October.

Ronan Loughney and Nepia Fox-Matamua also return from injury to be named among the replacements.

Connacht:

15. Cian Kelleher
14. Niyi Adeolokun
13. Bundee Aki
12. Craig Ronaldson
11. Stacey Ili
10. Jack Carty
9. John Cooney

1. Denis Buckley
2. Tom McCartney
3. Conor Carey
4. Quinn Roux
5. James Cannon
6. Eoin McKeon
7. Jake Heenan
8. John Muldoon (captain)

Replacements:

16. Dave Heffernan
17. Ronan Loughney
18. JP Cooney
19. Lewis Stevenson
20. Nepia Fox-Matamua
21. Caolin Blade
22. Marnitz Boshoff
23. Danie Poolman

Cardiff Blues:

15. Dan Fish
14. Blaine Scully
13. Rey Lee-Lo
12. Willis Halaholo
11. Tom James
10. Steve Shingler
9. Tomos Williams

1. Rhys Gill
2. Kristian Dacey
3. Scott Andrews
4. George Earle
5. Jarrad Hoeata
6. Josh Turnbull
7. Ellis Jenkins (captain)
8. Josh Navidi

Replacements:

16. Matthew Rees
17. Brad Thyer
18. Taufa’ao Filise
19. Macauley Cook
20. Shane Lewis-Hughes
21. Rhodri Davies
22. Alex Cuthbert
23. Matthew Morgan

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About the author:

Paul Dollery

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