Connacht name team for ‘big challenge’ against Cardiff Blues

Niyi Adeolokun, Tiernan O’Halloran and Matt Healy form a menacing back three

Connacht head coach Pat Lam has brought the fit again Stacey Ili straight back into his starting XV to face Cardiff Blues Sunday's Pro12 clash.

Niyi Adeolokun marks his 50th appearance for the province at the weekend starting in a back three with fellow Irish internationals Tiernan O'Halloran and Matt Healy.

Ili has returned from injury to form a centre partnership with Craig Ronaldson while Jack Carty and John Cooney are named at half back.

Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney and JP Cooney pack down in the front row with Quinn Roux and James Cannon, who this week signed a two-year contract extension, partnering in the second row. John Muldoon captains from the Number eight position with Sean O’Brien and Jake Heenan alongside him.


Commenting on the upcoming game, Pat Lam says he is expecting a very tight encounter -

“While it was good to get the break and a chance to work away on different aspects of our game, we’re all really looking forward to going out and playing this weekend.

“Cardiff have always been tough opponents for us, particularly away from home where so many games have gone right down to the wire. We expect a big challenge again on Sunday and we know there is little room for error as we look to improve our overall performance.”

CONNACHT: Tiernan O'Halloran; Niyi Adeolokun, Stacey Ili, Craig Ronaldson, Matt Healy; Jack Carty, John Cooney; Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney, JP Cooney; Quinn Roux, James Cannon; Sean O'Brien, Jake Heenan, John Muldoon (captain).

Replacements: Dave Heffernan, Ronan Loughney, John Andress, Naulia Dawai, Nepia Fox-Matamua, Caolin Blade, Tom Farrell, Danie Poolman.