Tiernan O’Halloran returns to action for Connacht in their Guinness PRO14 clash against South African side the Southern Kings in the Sportsground on Saturday at 7.35pm. O’Halloran is named at full-back in a side that sees three changes from the XV that started the opening round game against Glasgow Warriors.
Inside centre Tom Farrell and flanker Sean O’Brien are also included in the starting fifteen with Eoin Griffin and Eoghan Masterson taking their places among the replacements. In a positional switch Darragh Leader moves from full back to the wing as O’Halloran returns.
Commenting ahead of the game, Head Coach Kieran Keane said: “Tiernan returned to full training in the past week and we are very happy with his progress so he starts at full back. The Kings have a good few changes in personnel from their time in Super Rugby but I expect their style of play to remain the same. We are expecting a tough physical game and some exciting rugby on Saturday and our guys are going to have to be ready for that”.
Speaking ahead of the game, Denis Buckley told journalists: “We worked hard on our scrum during the week after the Glasgow game. We are expecting a tough encounter against the Kings and we will be very focused on our processes and decision making on the field. The South Africans are known for playing an exciting brand of rugby and we expect that to be the same on Saturday”.
(15-9) Tiernan O’Halloran, Darragh Leader, Tom Farrell, Bundee Aki, Matt Healy, Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion, (1-8) Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney, Finlay Bealham, Ultan Dillane, James Cannon, Sean O’Brien, Jarrad Butler, John Muldoon
Replacements (16-23): Dave Heffernan, Denis Coulson, Conor Carey, Quinn Roux, Eoghan Masterson, Caolin Blade, Steve Crosbie, Eoin Griffin.