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Ireland trio called upon for Connacht's clash with in-form Benetton

Ultan Dillane has been named to start, with Kieran Marmion and Jack Carty among the replacements.

THREE MEN WHO played during Ireland’s Six Nations campaign have been named in Connacht’s squad for tomorrow evening’s visit of Benetton to the Sportsground [KO 7.35pm, TG4 & eir Sport].

Ultan Dillane will start in the Guinness Pro14 fixture in Galway, while Kieran Marmion and Jack Carty — who both featured off the bench in Ireland’s defeat to Wales last Saturday — are included among the replacements.

Ultan Dillane Ultan Dillane in training with Connacht this week. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

In their bid to secure a play-off spot, it’s a vital outing for Connacht as they take on a side who are unbeaten in their last eight Pro14 games, a run which has left them second only to Leinster in Conference B. Connacht are in third place in Conference A.

Head coach Andy Friend has made three changes in personnel to the team that recorded the province’s biggest win of the season at the expense of Ospreys last time out.

Stephen Fitzgerald drops down to the bench to make way for Darragh Leader on the wing. With Marmion in reserve, Caolin Blade partners Kyle Godwin at half-back.

The only amendment to the pack sees James Cannon selected instead of Quinn Roux, who also saw game-time during the second-half of last weekend’s Six Nations loss in Cardiff.

Benetton, who defied their substantial number of Six Nations absentees by overcoming Scarlets, Dragons and Edinburgh, will start with fullback Luca Sperandio, out-half Ian McKinley and lock Alessandro Zanni. Sperandio and McKinley were unused substitutes for Italy against France last Saturday. Zanni was introduced in the second half.

Connacht:

15. Tiernan O’Halloran
14. Darragh Leader
13. Tom Farrell
12. Peter Robb
11. Matt Healy
10. Kyle Godwin
9. Caolin Blade

1. Denis Buckley
2. Shane Delahunt
3. Finlay Bealham
4. Ultan Dillane
5. James Cannon
6. Eoin McKeon
7. Colby Fainga’a
8. Jarrad Butler (captain)

Replacements:

16. Tom McCartney
17. Peter McCabe
18. Conor Carey
19. Gavin Thornbury
20. Eoghan Masterson
21. Kieran Marmion
22. Jack Carty
23. Stephen Fitzgerald

Benetton:

15. Luca Sperandio
14. Ratuva Tavuyara
13. Tommaso Benvenuti
12. Alberto Sgarbi (captain)
11. Monty Ioane
10. Ian McKinley
9. Dewaldt Duvenage

1. Nicola Quaglio
2. Hame Faiva
3. Marco Riccioni
4. Irné Herbst
5. Alessandro Zanni
6. Marco Lazzaroni
7. Giovanni Pettinelli
8. Toa Halafihi

Replacements:

16. Tomas Baravalle
17. Derrick Appiah
18. Tiziano Pasquali
19. Marco Barbini
20. Robert Barbieri
21. Giorgio Bronzini
22. Antonio Rizzi
23. Tommaso Iannone


Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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Paul Dollery

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