Boost for Connacht as nine players return

Andy Friend has some big names back for their Champions Cup showdown against French champions Toulouse.

Boost for Connacht as nine players return

Connacht coach Andy Friend has received a timely boost ahead of Saturday’s Heineken Champions Cup showdown against French champions Toulouse with nine players returning to action.

Team captain Jarrad Butler and World Cup players Bundee Aki and Jack Carty, along with Irish squad member Ultan Dillane, are the key players returning for a game which Connacht must win to keep their slim knockout hopes alive.

Impressive flanker Colby Fainga’a, winger Matt Healy, centre Peter Robb, and props Finlay Bealham and Rory Burke are also available for a Connacht side looking for a boost after losing all three festive derbies.

“It’s good news getting some boys back, it’s exactly what we need,” said Friend. “You always need you biggest players, your most experienced players to come in and give energy, so it’s good to see them back.”

Friend also confirmed that an ankle injury picked up by out-half Conor Fitzgerald in the 54-7 loss to Leinster on Saturday is not as bad as initially feared but he will be out for a few weeks, while they are also waiting on the results of a scan to establish the extent of a knee injury to his older brother Stephen in the same match.

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