Connacht v Southern Kings, Sportsground, Saturday September 9th (7.35ko)
Tiernan O'Halloran returns to the Connacht fold for Saturday's clash with Pro 14 new boys the Southern Kings at the Sportsground.
Fullback O’Halloran underwent knee surgery at the end of last season and missed the opening 18-12 defeat to Glasgow last weekend.
However, new boss Kieran Keane has been able to name the Ireland international in his starting XV for the visit of the South Africans on Saturday night.
Tom Farrell comes into the midfield and Sean O’Brien also starts in the backrow, while the inclusion of O’Halloran at 15 sees Darragh Leader moved to the wing.
Speaking ahead of the clash in Galway, 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”.
Connacht: Tiernan O'Halloran, Darragh Leader, Tom Farrell, Bundee Aki, Matt Healy, Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion; Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney, Finlay Bealham, Ultan Dillane, James Cannon, Sean O'Brien, Jarrad Butler, John Muldoon. Replacements: Dave Heffernan, Denis Coulson, Conor Carey, Quinn Roux, Eoghan Masterson, Caolin Blade, Steve Crosbie, Eoin Griffin.