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Connacht lose Aki to injury as Ulster welcome back some big guns

The Ireland centre has picked up a knee injury but should be back in training next week.

Aki misses out due to a knee injury.
Aki misses out due to a knee injury.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

CONNACHT HEAD COACH Andy Friend has made three changes to his starting XV for tomorrow’s clash with Ulster at the Aviva Stadium [KO 5.15pm, TG4/Premier Sports/URC TV] but they have lost talismanic centre Bundee Aki to a knee injury.

Scrum-half Kieran Marmion, back row Eoghan Masterson, and centre Tom Daly all come into the team for the United Rugby Championship game.

Aki was superb in last weekend’s narrow defeat to Munster and will be missed but Connacht report that he is “expected to return to full training next week” with Ireland ahead of their November Test series.

Daly starts in midfield in place of Aki, while Masterson replaces the injured Cian Prendergast, and Marmion swaps in for Caolin Blade.

Meanwhile, Ulster have been boosted by the returns of captain Iain Henderson, centre Stuart McCloskey, and wing Robert Baloucoune to their staring XV for this inter-provincial derby.

Ireland boss Andy Farrell will be pleased to see them back in action after naming the trio in his November squad, although Jacob Stockdale – who isn’t part of the national squad – remains sidelined.

Ulster boss McFarland has also brought loosehead prop Eric O’Sullivan into his team as the northern province look to continue their perfect start to the URC season. 

Connacht:

  • 15. Tiernan O’Halloran 
  • 14. John Porch 
  • 13. Sammy Arnold 
  • 12. Tom Daly 
  • 11. Mack Hansen 
  • 10. Jack Carty (captain)
  • 9. Kieran Marmion 
  • 1. Matthew Burke 
  • 2. Dave Heffernan 
  • 3. Finlay Bealham 
  • 4. Niall Murray 
  • 5. Ultan Dillane 
  • 6. Eoghan Masterson 
  • 7. Conor Oliver 
  • 8. Paul Boyle 

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Replacements:

  • 16. Shane Delahunt 
  • 17. Jordan Duggan
  • 18. Jack Aungier 
  • 19. Oisín Dowling 
  • 20. Jarrad Butler 
  • 21. Caolin Blade 
  • 22. Conor Fitzgerald 
  • 23. Diarmuid Kilgallen 

 Ulster

  • 15. Ethan McIlroy
  • 14. Robert Baloucoune
  • 13. James Hume
  • 12. Stuart McCloskey
  • 11. Craig Gilroy
  • 10. Billy Burns
  • 9. Nathan Doak
  • 1. Eric O’Sullivan
  • 2. Rob Herring
  • 3. Tom O’Toole
  • 4. Alan O’Connor
  • 5. Iain Henderson (Captain)
  • 6. Matty Rea
  • 7. Nick Timoney
  • 8. David McCann

Replacements:

  • 16. Brad Roberts
  • 17. Andrew Warwick
  • 18. Ross Kane
  • 19. Kieran Treadwell
  • 20. Greg Jones
  • 21. David Shanahan
  • 22. Mike Lowry
  • 23. Ben Moxham

Referee: Andrew Brace [IRFU].

About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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