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Connacht bring back Aki as Ulster name strong team for Galway derby

With Nigel Owens refereeing, this should be a hugely entertaining inter-provincial clash.

CONNACHT HAVE RECALLED centre Bundee Aki for their pivotal Guinness Pro12 clash with Ulster at the Sportsground tomorrow [KO 14.40, Sky Sports] after the Kiwi recovered from injury.

Head coach Pat Lam has also handed 10 shirt to Craig Ronaldson as Jack Carty drops out of the squad, while George Naoupu is introduced to the back row as Connacht continue to chase Champions Cup qualification.

Bundee Aki Aki makes his comeback from a calf injury tomorrow. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Aki’s inclusion means Robbie Henshaw shifts to the 13 shirt, with Danie Poolman reverting to the wing and Tiernan O’Halloran moving to fullback. Lam has named promising lock Ultan Dillan and out-half Miah Nikora on his bench.

Meanwhile, Ulster have recalled Ireland internationals Jared Payne, Rory Best and Tommy Bowe to their team as they look to hold on to second position in the Pro12.

Head coach Neil Doak has named a host of Ireland-capped players in his match day squad for what should be an entertaining inter-provincial clash in Galway, particularly with Nigel Owens refereeing.

Six Nations winner Iain Henderson is on the blindside of a back row that also includes Roger Wilson and Chris Henry, who continues his comeback from heart surgery last November.

Connacht

15. Tiernan O’Halloran
14. Danie Poolman
13. Robbie Henshaw
12. Bundee Aki
11. Matt Healy
10. Craig Ronaldson
9. Kieran Marmion

1. Denis Buckley
2. Tom McCartney
3. Rodney Ah You
4. Quinn Roux
5. Aly Muldowney
6. John Muldoon (captain)
7. Eoghan Masterson
8. George Naoupu

Replacements:

16. Shane Delahunt
17. Ronan Loughney
18. Finlay Bealham
19. Ultan Dillane
20. Eoin McKeon
21. John Cooney
22. Miah Nikora
23. Darragh Leader

Ulster

15. Louis Ludik
14. Tommy Bowe
13. Jared Payne
12. Darren Cave
11. Craig Gilroy
10. Paddy Jackson
9. Ruan Pienaar

1. Callum Black
2. Rory Best (captain)
3. Wiehahn Herbst
4. Dan Tuohy
5. Franco van der Merwe
6. Iain Henderson
7. Chris Henry
8. Roger Wilson

Replacements:

16. Rob Herring
17. Andrew Warwick
18. Bronson Ross
19. Robbie Diack
20. Clive Ross
21. Paul Marshall
22. Ian Humphreys
23. Stuart McCloskey

Referee: Nigel Owens [WRU].

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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