“We Know What To Expect From The Sharks” – Connacht Director Of Rugby Andy Friend


Connacht has been boosted by the return of internationals Finlay Bealham and Mack Hansen for tomorrow’s vital United Rugby Championship meeting with the Cell C Sharks at The Sportsground at 19h15 (SA Time)

Director of Rugby Andy Friend said that “It doesn’t need repeating how important tomorrow’s fixture is. We’ve put ourselves in a position where every point is crucial in these last seven games, so 4 or 5 points tomorrow is a must.

We know what to expect from the Sharks. They bring the physicality that you come to expect from a South African side but they also like to throw the ball around, so it should be an exciting one for the fans.”

Finlay Bealham and Mack Hansen along with Josh Murphy have all recovered from illness, in what are 3 of 9 changes from the side that faced Leinster.

Bealham joins an all-new front row of Denis Buckley and Shane Delahunt, while Oisín Dowling comes into the second row alongside the retained Darragh Murray. The back row sees Murphy come in at blindside flanker with Conor Oliver on the opposite flank and Shamus Hurley-Langton at number 8.

Kieran Marmion comes back in at scrum-half beside captain Jack Carty, while there’s a start for Cathal Forde at inside centre with Tom Farrell for company. The back three includes Hansen and John Porch on the wings with Tiernan O’Halloran at full-back.

Connacht Rugby: 15. Tiernan O’Halloran, 14. John Porch, 13. Tom Farrell, 12. Cathal Forde, 11. Mack Hansen, 10. Jack Carty (c), 9. Kieran Marmion, 8. Shamus Hurley-Langton, 7. Conor Oliver, 6. Josh Murphy, 5. Darragh Murray, 4. Oisín Dowling, 3. Finlay Bealham, 2. Shane Delahunt, 1. Denis Buckley. Replacements: 16. Dylan Tierney-Martin, 17. Jordan Duggan, 18. Dominic Robertson-McCoy, 19. Leva Fifita, 20. Cian Prendergast, 21. Caolin Blade, 22. Conor Fitzgerald, 23. Byron Ralston.