One championship debutant in Mayo XV to play Galway

Four of All-Ireland winning Under-21 team of 2016 will start in Castlebar on Sunday

Championship debutant Eoin O’Donoghue has been named in Mayo’s starting XV for Sunday’s Connacht quarter-final against Galway.

Stephen Rochford has rewarded the defender's impressive league form as Mayo look to prevent a third provincial exit in a row to the Tribesmen. Galway also defeated Mayo in this year's league encounter.

O'Donoghue is one of four players selected who featured in Mayo's Under-21 All-Ireland winning team in 2016. Stephen Coen captained that team and he is named at wingback, despite operating mainly at midfield last year. While Diarmuid O'Connor and Conor Loftus are in the forward line.

Former All Star fullback Ger Cafferkey struggled to nail down his place last year but if the team plays as selected he will be tasked with picking up Galway's talisman Damien Comer.

Mayo are without the injured Lee Keegan, although Keith Higgins is named to start after missing the entire league campaign. He was sent off in last year's one point defeat to Galway.

Andy Moran will make his 165th appearance for the county (73 championship and 92 league). He made his championship debut against New York back in 2004. He joins Cillian O'Connor inside, who appears to have overcome any injury concern. Big Aidan O'Shea is at centre forward.

Throw in at MacHale Park on Sunday is 4pm

MAYO: David Clarke; Eoin O'Donoghue, Ger Cafferkey, Keith Higgins, Patrick Durcan, Colm Boyle, Stephen Coen; Seamus O'Shea, Tom Parsons; Kevin McLoughlin, Aidan O'Shea, Diarmuid O'Connor; Conor Loftus, Cillian O'Connor, Andy Moran.

Eamon Donoghue

Eamon Donoghue

Eamon Donoghue is a sports journalist with The Irish Times

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