Cardiff Rugby vs Connacht Rugby -Starting Teams, Betting, Live scores & Result, Cardiff Arms Park – KO 19.35 IRE
- Rhys Priestland will make his Cardiff Rugby competitive debut on Friday, as the Blue and Blacks welcome Connacht to the capital for the United Rugby Championship opener.
- Connacht new signing Mack Hansen has been handed his Pro debut with Tom Farrell starting his first competitive game since November after his serious knee injury,
Cardiff 1/2 (-5)
Connacht 7/4 (+5)
Referee: Andrea Piardi (FIR, 15th league game)
AR1: Elgan Williams (WRU), AR2: Steff Edwards (WRU),
TMO: Alan Falzone (FIR)
Live on: BBC Wales, TG4 and Premier Sports 2
Cardiff: Hallam Amos; Owen Lane, Rey Lee-Lo, Willis Halaholo, Jason Harries; Rhys Priestland, Lloyd Williams; Corey Domachowski, Kirby Myhill, Dmitri Arhip, Seb Davies, Matthew Screech, Josh Turnbull (CAPT), Ellis Jenkins, James Ratti
Replacements: Liam Belcher, Rhys Carré, Dillon Lewis, Rory Thornton, Will Boyde, Tomos Williams, Jarrod Evans, Max Llewellyn
Connacht: Tiernan O’Halloran, John Porch, Tom Farrell, Tom Daly, Mack Hansen, Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion, Matthew Burke, Shane Delahunt, Finlay Bealham, Oisin Dowling, Ultan Dillane, Cian Prendergast, Conor Oliver, Jarrad Butler (CAPT)
Replacements: Dave Heffernan, Jordan Duggan, Dominic Robertson-McCoy, Niall Murray, Paul Boyle, Hubert Gilvarry, Conor Fitzgerald, Sammy Arnold
Cardiff Rugby Director of Rugby Dai Young said: “It’s hugely important, but no less important for Connacht. Playing at home puts in a bit of added pressure.
“There’s added pressure to get a result because the first block of games is all about building points. “You want to win games but you want to sit back after the five games and be happy with your point accumulation. “We’ve got four out of five games at home so it’s a hugely important start for us and we need to pick up as many points as possible. “I’ve got huge respect for Connacht. They play a great brand of rugby and if we’re not at our best then we’ll lose. It’s as simple as that. “But we’re confident that if we bring our ‘A-game’ on the weekend then we’ll come away with the result. It will be tough but we can come away with the result.”
Young added: “The whole 23 is hugely important, and the bench is going to play a huge role for us on the weekend. We’re in a position where we can generally put a really strong 23 out, and there’s arguments that some boys on the bench could be starting. There’s not much between them and the boys that are starting, and that puts us in a really good light. Your first selection is always tough because people have had different amount of game-time. But the important thing for us is that we’ve got a strong 23. We have a 15 that can go out and do a job, while also having some real finishers and we see these boys as ones who can come on, make an impact and put us in a stronger position”
Connacht Head Coach Andy Friend said: “It’s been a really productive pre-season campaign so we’re all really looking forward to this URC opener. It’s a difficult opening game as Cardiff are always a formidable outfit especially at home, but we’ve prepared in the right way and are confident we can put in a really strong performance.
Mack Hansen has been very impressive since arriving so fully deserves his first start, and in Hubert Gilvarry we have another Connacht native ready to make his debut if called upon. I know his inclusion in the matchday 23 will be a very proud day for all at Sligo RFC and Sligo Grammar School.”
|September 24, 2021||7:35 pm||United Rugby Championship||2021||80'|