Connacht & Wasps Name Teams For Champions Cup Clash
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Connacht fans are still reeling from the news that Pat Lam will be leaving at the end of the season but focus now switches to their crucial Champions Cup clash this weekend.
Lam will welcome back his international stars after the international break and has named a strong side for the European clash against Premiership big spenders Wasps, who are led by Dai Young.
Stacey Ili will join Bundee Aki in the centre with Lam going with a strong back-three in the shape of O’Halloran, Adeolokun and former Leinster academy Cian Kelleher. Kieran Marmion returns from his cameo on the wing against Australia and will partner Jack Carty in the halfbacks.
John Muldoon captains the side in a pack that features the likes of Ultan Dillane, Quinn Roux, Jake Heenan and the ever-impressive Denis Buckley. Lam has also named a strong bench with the likes of Irish international Finlay Bealham in reserve
Connacht XV: Tiernan O’Halloran; Niyi Adeolokun, Stacey Ili, Bundee Aki, Cian Kelleher; Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion; Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney, Conor Carey; Ultan Dillane, Quinn Roux; Nepia Fox-Matamua, Jake Heenan, John Muldoon (captain)
Replacements: Dave Heffernan, JP Cooney, Finlay Bealham, Sean O’Brien, Eoin McKeon, Caolin Blade, Rory Parata, Peter Robb
The Coventry-based outfit are also boosted by the return of England internationals Joe Launchbury and Nathan Hughes, who are the only changes to the pack that started against Worcester last Sunday.
Christian Wade returns from a foot injury to start on the right wing, with Josh Bassett lining up on the left. Dan Robson and Jimmy Gopperth form the half back partnership, while Beale starts at inside centre, alongside Alapati Leiua, in Wasps’ midfield combination.
15. Rob Miller
14. Christian Wade
13. Alapati Leiua
12. Kurtley Beale
11. Josh Bassett
10. Jimmy Gopperth
9. Dan Robson
1. Matt Mullan
2. Tommy Taylor
3. Marty Moore
4. Joe Launchbury ©
5. Kearnan Myall
6. Ashley Johnson
7. Thomas Young
8. Nathan Hughes
16. Alex Rieder
17. Tom Bristow
18. Jake Cooper-Woolley
19. James Gaskell
20. Guy Thompson
21. Joe Simpson
22. Brendan Macken
23. Frank Halai
Connacht currently sit top of the group with this weekend’s game set to go a long way in deciding who qualifies for the knockout stages.