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Copeland set for Connacht bow as Madigan starts for Lam's Bristol

Andy Friend has recalled Tiernan O’Halloran at fullback for Connacht’s final friendly game.

NEW SIGNING ROBIN Copeland has recovered from a hip issue to be named at number eight for his Connacht debut in tomorrow’s pre-season friendly against Pat Lam’s Bristol in Ashton Gate [KO 7.45pm].

Robin Copeland Copeland made the move from Munster this summer. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Copeland moved to the western province from Munster this summer and will get up and running with his new team as Andy Friend look to round off a good pre-season with a win in Bristol.

After last weekend’s big win over Wasps, Friend has brought Tiernan O’Halloran in at fullback, meaning Cian Kelleher shifts onto the wing. James Mitchell comes in at scrum-half, while James Connolly gets a start at blindside flanker.

Dave Heffernan captains the team with Jarrad Butler missing through a rib injury, while Ireland international Ultane Dillane gets a start in the second row.

Lam, meanwhile, has named former Leinster out-half Ian Madigan to start in Bristol’s 10 shirt.

Ian Madigan Madigan starts at 10 for Bristol. Source: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

The Premiership side have selected an imposing all-international back row of Steven Luatua, George Smith and Jack Lam, while ex-Ulster prop John Afoa starts and former Ulster fullback Charles Piutau is included on the bench.

Ex-Ireland U19 back Piers O’Conor is also among the replacements for Bristol, as is former Ireland U19 Sevens international Callum Sheedy.

Connacht:

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

1. Denis Buckley
2. Dave Heffernan (captain)
3. Finlay Bealham
4. Ultan Dillane
5. James Cannon
6. James Connolly
7. Paul Boyle
8. Robin Copeland

Replacements

Shane Delahunt
Peter McCabe
Conor Carey
Joe Maksymiw
Cillian Gallagher
Conor McKeon
Craig Ronaldson
Niyi Adeolokun
Eoin Griffin
Quinn Roux

Bristol:

15. Luke Daniels
14. Luke Morahan
13. Alapati Leiua
12. Siale Piutau
11. Ryan Edwards
10. Ian Madigan
9. Nic Stirzaker

1. Yann Thomas
2. Harry Thacker
3. John Afoa
4. Ed Holmes
5. Joe Latta
6. Steven Luatua (captain)
7. George Smith
8. Jack Lam

Replacements

16. Nick Fenton-Wells
17. Jake Woolmore
18. Jake Armstrong
19. Chris Vui
20. Jordan Crane
21. Andy Uren
22. Callum Sheedy
23. Charles Piutau
24. Piers O’Conor

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About the author:

Murray Kinsella

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