Two academy players included in Connacht squad for Challenge Cup opener against Bordeaux

TWO ACADEMY PLAYERS have been named in the Connacht squad for their Challenge Cup opener against Bordeaux Bégles at the Sportsground on Saturday [KO 3pm].

Out-half Conor Fitzgerald and Connemara man Colm de Buitlear, who has featured across the back three, are named among the Connacht replacements as Andy Friend’s side prepare to begin their Challenge Cup campaign.

In the starting XV, front row props Peter McCabe and Conor Carey, along with hooker Shane Delahunt, are set to make their first starts of the season while there is one change in the second row from the team that ended a 58-year wait for a win in Ulster last weekend.

James Cannon comes in to start alongside Quinn Roux with captain Jarrad Butler, Colby Fainga’a and Robin Copeland completing the pack.

Caolin Blade is named to start instead of the injured Kieran Marmion at scrum-half where he will partner Jack Carty, while Eoin Griffin joins Bundee Aki in midfield. 

Kyle Godwin and Niyi Adeolokun are named to start on the wings with Cian Kelleher taking up his position at fullback to make up the back three.


15. Cian Kelleher
14. Niyi Adeolokun
13. Eoin Griffin
12. Bundee Aki
11. Kyle Godwin
10. Jack Carty
9. Caolin Blade

1. Peter McCabe
2. Shane Delahunt
3. Conor Carey
4. James Cannon
5. Quinn Roux
6. Jarrad Butler (c)
7. Colby Fainga’a
8. Robin Copeland.


16. Tom McCartney
17. Conán O’Donnel
18. Finlay Bealham
19. Joe Maksymiw
20. James Connolly
21. Conor McKeon
22. Conor Fitzgerald
23. Colm De Buitléar

Bordeaux Beglés

15. Simon Desaubies
14. Nans Ducuing
13. Jean-Baptiste Dubie
12. Ulupano Seuteni
11. George Tilsley
10. Lucas Meret
9. Yann Lesgourgues

1. Thierry Paiva
2. Clément Maynadier
3. Lasha Tabidze
4. Mariano Galarza
5. Cyril Cazeaux
6. Luke Braid
7. Cameron Woki
8. Beka Gorgadze


16. Florian Dufour
17. Laurent Delboulbes
18. Viliamu Afatia
19. Afa Amosa
20. Maxime Lamothe
21. Jules Gimbert
22. Lucas Lebraud
23. Adrien Pelissié

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