Thursday 15 November 2018

Aki set to play as Connacht go in search of successive wins

Connacht's Bundee Aki. Photo: Sportsfile
Connacht's Bundee Aki. Photo: Sportsfile

Daragh Small

Ireland international Bundee Aki is in line for his first PRO14 game this season in Connacht's crunch tie against Edinburgh.

Andy Friend's side make the trip to Murrayfield on Friday looking for back-to-back wins after their 32-13 victory over Zebre.

The Irish duo of Kieran Marmion and Quinn Roux both saw minutes off the replacements bench at the Sportsground. They are both likely to feature, while lock Ultan Dillane is set to return.

Centre Tom Farrell will miss out, having picked up a bug last week, and that increases the chances of Aki making his reappearance.

"It would be nice. From the IRFU point of view we are allowed to play them (the internationals) all now," said Friend. "Ultan should be back and ready to go. Quinn did really well last week. Marmo came off the bench and hopefully this week we have got Bundee coming back too.

"It's really good. Dropping those boys back in is only going to add more stability to us."

The hamstring injury for new recruit David Horwitz continues to delay his debut, but Friend has been impressed with Jack Carty's performances as he bids to stave off the competition from the 23-year-old Australian.

"Unfortunately at the moment it's just dragging on, that one. We are hoping he (Horwitz) is going to be back by the end of this month or early October. That's the plan but it's a sort of a week-by-week one," said Friend.

"Jack is going really well. Just the composure he is showing. He kept the ball in front of our forwards which on a wet day is what you want. His option-taking was very good.

"Defensively, he is working his backside off. That energy and that desire that every point matters is really important to us."

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