Connacht blend experience with youth for final URC match with Zebre

The head coach has handed Dylan Tierney-Martin his first start for the province
Connacht blend experience with youth for final URC match with Zebre

Connacht Head Coach Andy Friend before the United Rugby Championship match between Cell C Sharks and Connacht at Hollywoodbets Kings Park Stadium in Durban, South Africa. Photo by Darren Stewart/Sportsfile

Andy Friend has named his side for the visit of Zebre to the Sportsgrounds on Saturday evening (Kick-off, 5pm).

The head coach has handed Dylan Tierney-Martin his first start for the province, while there is also places for Oran McNulty and Seán Masterson in the starting XV.

Tierney-Martin is partnered in the front row by Denis Buckley and Finlay Bealham, while Gavin Thornbury will partner Niall Murray in the locks.  

Masterson is joined in the back row by his brother Eoghan and number eight Cian Prendergast.

Kieran Marmion and captain Jack Carty, as well as centres Tom Daly and Tom Farrell, remain at 9,10,12 & 13, respectively.

Commenting on the team selection, Head Coach Andy Friend said: "Even though we missed out on the playoffs we have plenty to play for tomorrow. Finishing with a 50% win record is important, but more so is finishing on a high at our home ground – both for our playing group and our supporters.

The likes of Dylan, Seán and Oran all deserve their opportunity tomorrow and I know the departing players involved will savour the experience as well."

Connacht: O McNulty, J Porch, T Farrell, T Daly, A Wootton, J Carty, K Marmion, D Buckley, D Tierney-Martin, F Bealham, G Thornbury, N Murray, E Masterson, S Masterson, C Prendergast 

Replacements: D Heffernan, M Burke, J Aungier, U Dillane, A Papali’I, C Reilly, C Fitzgerald, S Arnold 

Zebre Parma: L Pani, A Tuivuaka, F Smith Jr., E Lucchin, J Trulla, C Canna, C Cook, D Fischetti, L Bigi, E Bello, D Sisi, A Zambonin, L Andreani, I Bianchi, T Fox-Matamua 

Replacements: G Ribaldi, P Buonfiglio, M Nocera, L Krumov, R Vintcent, N Casilio, A Fusco, J Laloifi

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