Monday 14 October 2019

Ireland stars return for Connacht as Andy Friend rotates his team for Sale quarter-final

Bundee Aki during Connacht Rugby squad training at the Sportsground in Galway. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Bundee Aki during Connacht Rugby squad training at the Sportsground in Galway. Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile Newsdesk Newsdesk

Connacht coach Andy Friend has recalled Ireland internationals Jack Carty, Bundee Aki and Kieran Marmion to play Sale Sharks in the European Challenge Cup quarter-final on Friday night.

The westerners secured a bonus point win over Benetton last week to maintain their position in the PRO 14 playoffs in Conference A, with Friend opting to rotate his team as they fight on two fronts.

For the trip to AJ Bell Stadium, Marmion and Carty return at half-back while Aki slots back in at number 12. However, Tom Farrell and Matt Healy are rested while Tiernan O'Halloran also misses out in the backs through injury.

In the pack, Quinn Roux has been ruled out with a knock while Ultan Dillane, Colby Fainga'a and captain Jarrad Butler have all been given the weekend off.

Sale have named Dublin-born out-half AJ MacGinty at number ten alongside Springbok star Faf de Klerk. England wing Chris Ashton is still missing through injury although Sale can call upon openside Tom Curry, who was one of the breakout stars of the Six Nations.

Sale vs Connacht kicks off at 19.45 on Friday night and is being shown on BT Sport.


15. Darragh Leader

International Rugby Newsletter

Rugby insights and commentary from our renowned journalists like Neil Francis, Will Slattery, Alan Quinlan & Cian Tracey.

14. Niyi Adeolokun

13. Kyle Godwin

12. Bundee Aki

11. Cian Kelleher

10. Jack Carty

9. Kieran Marmion

1. Peter McCabe

2. Tom McCartney (captain)

3. Dominic Robertson-McCoy

4. James Cannon

5. Gavin Thornbury

6. Eoghan Masterson

7. James Connolly

8. Paul Boyle



16. Dave Heffernan

17. Denis Buckley

18. Finlay Bealham

19. Joe Maksymiw

20. Robin Copeland

21. Caolin Blade

22. Tom Daly

23. Stephen Fitzgerald


Sale Sharks

15. Luke James

14. Denny Solomona

13. Sam James

12. Rohan Janse van Rensburg

11. Byron McGuigan

10. AJ MacGinty

9. Faf de Klerk

1. Ross Harrison

2. Rob Webber

3. Joe Jones

4. Bryn Evans

5. James Phillips

6. Jono Ross (captain)

7. Tom Curry

8. Josh Beaumont



16. Curtis Langdon

17. Tom Bristow

18. Alexandru Tarus

19. Josh Strauss

20. Ben Curry

21. Will Cliff

22. Cameron Redpath

23. Arron Reed

Online Editors

The Left Wing - RWC Daily: Quarter-final fever hits as Ireland gear up for toughest test of all

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport