Leinster include Lions for trip to Connacht

Tadhg Furlong is named among a powerful-looking Leinster bench, which will be keen to put the disappointment of last week’s Champions Cup exit behind them.
Leinster include Lions for trip to Connacht

Jack Conan 

Garry Ringrose has the chance to send out an immediate reminder to the Lions selectors following his exclusion from Warren Gatland’s squad this week and will start against Connacht at the Sportsground on Saturday.

There was good news for both Andrew Porter and Jack Conan, and the Lions duo will also start in Galway, while Tadhg Furlong is named among a powerful-looking Leinster bench, which will be keen to put the disappointment of last week’s Champions Cup exit behind them.

There is no place for South Africa-bound Bundee Aki in the Connacht squad due to his continuing suspension, but his captain Jarrad Butler returns following his own three-game ban.

Victory away to Ulster has set up Connacht in this competition, and after their win at the RDS in January, coach Andy Friend is keen to see their recent inter-pro form continue.

“We want to win every game. Of course we do, and it especially gets heightened when you come up against the other Irish provinces,” said Friend.

“So yeah, to have the win at the Kingspan against Ulster, that was great for us. But literally an hour after that it's finished and forgotten, so you move on to the next one.

“We've got Leinster coming down here on Saturday, and they've definitely got something to prove because of the victory we had up there at the RDS, so it's up to us to try and emulate that and go one better, because I'm sure they are going to be better.” 

CONNACHT: J Porch; P Sullivan, S O’Brien, T Daly, M Healy; C Fitzgerald, C Blade; D Buckley, D Heffernan, F Bealham; N Murray, G Thornbury; E Masterson, C Oliver, J Butler (C).

Replacements: J Murphy, M Burke, D Robertson-McCoy, C Prendergast, A Papali’I, K Marmion, S Arnold, O McNulty.

LEINSTER: H Keenan; C Kelleher, G Ringrose, C Frawley, D Kearney; R Byrne, L McGrath (C); P Dooley, J Tracy, A Porter; R Molony, S Fardy; J Murphy, S Penny, J Conan.

Replacements: D Sheehan, E Byrne, T Furlong, R Baird, J van der Flier, R Osborne, R O’Loughlin, J Larmour.

Referee: Frank Murphy (IRFU).

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