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Saturday 4 February 2023 Dublin: 9°C
Oisin Keniry/INPHO Horwitz: comfortable at 10 and 12.
# Challenge Accepted
Connacht's new Australian playmaker poised to make his debut against Sale
David Horwitz is on the bench as Andy Friend makes seven changes for round two of the Challenge Cup.

AUSTRALIAN PLAYMAKER DAVID Horwitz is set to make his Connacht debut in Saturday’s Challenge Cup trip to the Sale Sharks [kick-off, 3pm] .

Horwitz will hope to see his first minutes for the western province after being named among the replacements for the Pool 3 clash at the AJ Bell Stadium.

The 24-year-old, who signed from the Rebels in March, plays primarily at out-half but is also comfortable at centre.

Andy Friend has named a much-changed starting XV from the side which beat Bordeaux-Begles in round one last weekend, with seven new faces in total.

Jack Carty is rested so there is a first senior start for Conor Fitzgerald at out-half, and also for Colm De Buitléar on the wing, while Tom Farrell returns at centre and a fit-again Tiernan O’Halloran takes his place at fullback.

Up front, Denis Buckley, Ultan Dillane and Paul Boyle all start.

“Sale are an impressive side and they are top of the pool after the bonus point win away to Perpignan last weekend,” Friend said.

“We have picked a strong side. We have a few new players coming in who are there on merit and then we have a few more experienced guys coming back from injury.

“We have picked a side that we think can win the game and that is our intention going over to Sale. With ourselves and Sale both winning in the opening round, this game will have a big say in the final standings.”

Sale Sharks:

15. Sam James
14. Byron McGuigan
13 James O’Connor
12. Rohan Janse Van Rensburg
11. Chris Ashton
10. Kieran Wilkinson
9. Faf De Klerk

1. Ross Harrison
2. Rob Webber
3. WillGriff John
4. Bryn Evans
5. James Phillips
6. Jono Ross (capt)
7. Tom Curry
8. Josh Beaumont

Replacements:

16. Curtis Langdon
17. Tom Bristow
18. Alexandru Tarus
19. George Nott
20. Ben Curry
21. Will Cliff
22. Luke James
23. Arron Reed

Connacht:

15. Tiernan O’Halloran
14. Niyi Adeolokun
13. Tom Farrell
12. Kyle Godwin
11. Colm De Buitléar
10. Conor Fitzgerald
9. Caolin Blade (capt)

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1. Denis Buckley
2. Shane Delahunt
3. Conor Carey
4. Ultan Dillane
5. James Cannon
6. Paul Boyle
7. Colby Fainga’a
8. Robin Copeland

Replacements:

16. Tom McCartney
17. Matthew Burke
18. Conan O’Donnell
19. Joe Maksymiw
20. James Connolly
21. James Mitchell
22. David Horwitz
23. Eoin Griffin


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