Eoghan Masterson to captain Connacht for Challenge Cup clash

A fit again Tiernan O’Halloran is back in the side as is Bundee Aki for visit of Worcester

Connacht are in pursuit of two wins from two in the Challenge Cup. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Connacht are in pursuit of two wins from two in the Challenge Cup. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

 

Eoghan Masterson will captain Connacht in their Challenge Cup game against Worcester in the Sportsground on Saturday.

The 24-year-old takes his place at number eight in a backrow that includes Eoin McKeon at blindside and James Connolly at openside.

There is also a new-look front row from the team that started the round one bonus point win away to Oyonnax. Denis Buckley comes in at loosehead and Dave Heffernan and Dominic Robertson-McCoy are included at hooker and tighthead respectively.

In the backs, Bundee Aki returns to the centre alongside Eoin Griffin in the centre. Tiernan O’Halloran is also back in the side at fullback after a brief injury.

Connacht’s record try scorer in European competition Matt Healy, who scored two tries in the opening round, is also included in the starting XV.

He spoke to reporters about the challenge that Connacht face; “We had a great travelling support last week in Geneva and we were delighted with the bonus point win. So, we had a review of the Oyonnax game and very quickly moved on and started focusing on Worcester.

“We are delighted to be back in the Sportsground in front of our home support. Worcester will bring a big challenge, they had a good win last week and, like ourselves, will be looking to gain a bit of momentum this weekend.”

Former Munster and Ireland lock Donncha O’Callaghan is on the bench for Worcester. Peter Stringer is not in the 23-man squad.

Connacht: Tiernan O’Halloran; Darragh Leader, Bundee Aki, Eoin Griffin, Matt Healy; Jack Carty, Caolin Blade; Denis Buckley, Dave Heffernan, Dominic Robertson-McCoy; Quinn Roux, James Cannon; Eoin McKeon, James Connolly, Eoghan Masterson (capt).

Replacements: Shane Delahunt, Peter McCabe, Conor Carey, Cillian Gallagher, Jarrad Butler, Kieran Marmion, Craig Ronaldson, Cian Kelleher.

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