Connacht Star Bags Hat-Trick In Pre-Season Win As Stuart Olding Makes Rugby Return

Back in action.

Former Ulster and Ireland centre Stuart Olding made his long-awaited return to rugby yesterday as he lined out in the centre for new club Brive, who took on Irish province Connacht in a pre-season friendly match.

Olding hadn’t played a game since being suspended by the IRFU at the start of last season along with former teammate Paddy Jackson due to their hugely publicised trial.

Both Olding and Jackson were found not guilty in the end, with the latter also making his return to rugby this week with new club Perpignan.

But it was Connacht winger Cian Kelleher who stole the show in France, bagging a stunning hat-trick to ensure the western province came away with a 33-24 win. A superb start for new boss Andy Friend.

Brive: G Namy; K Bradua, A Mignardi, S Olding, A Muller; M Ugalde, S Marques; V Devisme, F de Ros, D Bamba; D Lagrange, P Marais; D Waqaniburotu, S Cerqueira, O Giordadze.

Replacements: T Acquier, L Goginava, V Lebas, Y Uys, R Marais, M Voisin, P Narisia, D Delarue, E Herve, F Romanet, B Petre, P Nacebe, S Bekoshvili, C Thomas, V Lobzhanidze, L Jammes.

Connacht: Tiernan O’Halloran, Cian Kelleher, Eoin Griffin, Tom Farrell, Matt Healy, Jack Carty, Caolin Blade, Peter McCabe, Shane Delahunt, Conor Carey, Ultan Dillane, James Cannon, Eoghan Masterson,  Jarrad Butler, Eoin McKeon

Replacements: Dave Heffernan, Conan O’Donnell, Dominick RoberstonMcCoy, Cillian Gallagher, Joe Maksymiw, Eoin McKeon, Craig Ronaldson, Darragh Leader, Matthew Burke, Peter Robb, Rory Scholes, Kieran Joyce, Kyle Godwin, James Mitchell, David Horwitz.

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