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Ireland internationals return as Connacht chase Pro14 play-offs

Andy Friend’s side take on Cardiff Blues at the Sportsground.

Ultan Dillane has returned to Connacht from Ireland's Six Nations squad.
Ultan Dillane has returned to Connacht from Ireland's Six Nations squad.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

IRELAND INTERNATIONALS ULTAN Dillane and David Heffernan have returned to the Connacht starting line-up for their Pro14 clash with Cardiff Blues at the Sportsground on Saturday [KO, 7.35pm].

The return of the duo is a timely boost for Andy Friend’s side as they face into some key fixtures that will determine if they can secure a spot in the quarter-finals of the competition.

Connacht, who currently sit in fourth place in Conference B, are one point above Cardiff and need a victory to stay in the hunt.

Heffernan comes into a front row alongside props Paddy McAllister and Finlay Bealham, while Dillane will feature in the second row alongside Gavin Thornbury. Quinn Roux is still unavailable through injury.

Jarrad Butler will start at number 8 with Paul Boyle and Colby Fainga’a selected at blindside and openside respectively.

Kieran Marmion and Jack Carty form the half-back pairing while Peter Robb and Kyle Godwin have been selected in midfield, with Bundee Aki unavailable due to international commitments.

In the back-three, Tiernan O’Halloran has been handed the 15 jersey with Matt Healy and John Porch starting on the wings.


15. Tiernan O’Halloran
14. John Porch
13. Kyle Godwin
12. Peter Robb
11. Matt Healy
10. Jack Carty
9. Kieran Marmion

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1. Paddy McAllister
2. Dave Heffernan
3. Finlay Bealham
4. Ultan Dillane
5. Gavin Thornbury
6. Paul Boyle
7. Colby Fainga’a
8. Jarrad Butler (Capt)

16. Shane Delahunt
17. Denis Buckley
18. Dominic Robertson-McCoy
19. Joe Maksymiw
20. Eoin McKeon
21. Caolin Blade
22. Conor Fitzgerald
23. Tom Daly.

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