Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Clifden man O'Halloran captains youthful Connacht while Ospreys welcome RWC stars back

Head coach Pat Lam has earmarked the 24-year-old as a key leader in the western province.

CONNACHT CAPTAIN JOHN Muldoon has been named on the bench for tomorrow’s Pro12 meeting with the Ospreys (1.30pm).

The blindside has played every minute of the four games in this campaign so far, but will provide cover for Eoin McKeon, Eoghan Masterson and Nepia Fox-Matamua at the Liberty Stadium.

In Muldoon’s absence, 24-year-old fullback Tiernan O’Halloran captains the youthful side.

“I’m delighted for him and his family,” says head coach Pat Lam of the new skipper.

“He is part of our leadership group and even at 24 years of age, he’s one of the senior players on and off the pitch.”

There are four further changes to the team who defeated Zebre last weekend. Jack Carty comes back in to fill the number 10 jersey and the knock-on effect of that edges Rory Parata out of the centre and on to the bench.

Darragh Leader wins his first start of the season in place of the hamstrung Danie Poolman while 21-year-old academy hooker Shane Delahunt earns his second senior competitive start ahead of Aly Muldowney who joins Quinn Roux in the second row.

The Ospreys have the likes of Justin Tipuric, Paul James and Aaron Jarvis to call upon from the replacements, but are still without the majority of their World Cup contingent – including the injured Tyler Ardron, Jeff Hassler and Rhys Webb.

The Welsh outfit will start the day 11 points behind Connacht, but determined to make up for lost time in Swansea:

“With the stop/start nature of the season it’s been a while since we’ve been at the Liberty,” says head coach Steve Tandy.

“Five weeks since we played Munster there, so it’s good to be back home for a game in the traditional Saturday afternoon slot. We had a good crowd for the Munster game and we’re hoping for similar this weekend to really give the boys a boost.”


15 Richard Fussell
14 Tom Grabham
13 Ben John
12 Josh Matavesi
11 Eli Walker
10 Sam Davies
9 Brendon Leonard

1 Ryan Bevington
2 Sam Parry
3 Dmitri Arhip
4 Lloyd Ashley (Capt)
5 Rory Thornton
6 James King
7 Sam Underhill
8 Dan Baker

16 Scott Otten
17. Paul James
18 Aaron Jarvis
19 Rynier Bernardo
20 Joe Bearman
21 Justin Tipuric
22 Tom Habberfield
23 Dan Evans


15. Tiernan O’Halloran (captain)
14. Darragh Leader
13. Bundee Aki
12. Craig Ronaldson
11. Matt Healy
10. Jack Carty
9. Kieran Marmion

1. Denis Buckley
2. Shane Delahunt
3. Rodney Ah You
4. Quinn Roux
5. Aly Muldowney
6. Eoin McKeon
7. Nepia Fox-Matamua
8. Eoghan Masterson


16. Dave Heffernan
17. Conan O’Donnell
18. Finlay Bealham
19. Ultan Dillane
20. John Muldoon
21. Ian Porter
22. Rory Parata
23. Niyi Adeolokun

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