CONNACHT HEAD COACH Andy Friend has recalled star wing Matt Healy for tomorrow’s eagerly-anticipated inter-provincial clash with Munster at the Sportsground (kick-off 19.35, TG4, eir Sport).

The Western province must do without Bundee Aki, however, after the Ireland man started both of the seasonal derby clashes in Christmas week. On-loan Leinster centre Tom Daly starts at inside centre in Aki’s place, partnering Tom Farrell.

The starting XV shows six changes in all from the team who overcame Ulster 21-12 last Friday, with captain Jarrad Butler (carrying a “knock”) and Sean O’Brien replaced in the back row by Eoghan Masterson and Paul Boyle. 

Tom Daly training in Galway. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Dave Heffernan comes in to captain the side and replaces Shane Delahunt at hooker. He is joined in the front row by Dominic Robertson-McCoy, though Ireland international Finlay Bealham returns to the matchday squad as a replacement.

The Westerners have won six of their last seven matches, the only defeat coming after they held a 17-point lead away to Leinster. That run of form has taken them third in Pro14 Conference A, and they will kick-off tomorrow’s match just three points behind Munster.

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Connacht (v Munster)

15. Darragh Leader
14. Cian Kelleher
13. Tom Farrell
12. Tom Daly
11. Matt Healy
10. Jack Carty
9. Caolin Blade

1. Denis Buckley
2. Dave Heffernan (Capt.)
3. Dominic Robertson McCoy
4. Gavin Thornbury
5. Quinn Roux
6. Paul Boyle
7. Colby Fainga’a
8. Eoghan Masterson


16. Tom McCartney
17. Peter McCabe
18. Finlay Bealham
19. Ultan Dillane
20. Cillian Gallagher
21. Angus Lloyd
22. David Horwitz
23. Colm DeBuitlear

Source: Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42/SoundCloud

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