Friday Night Lights at the Sportsground

Connacht_v_Munster_27-12-2010_-_ScrumThe European break is over & with that comes an inter-provincial derby in the shape of Connacht & Munster in Galway tonight.

Connacht come into this fixture off the back of successive wins in the challenge cup over the past two weeks.

Munster also hold an unbeaten record in the shape of their Champions Cup campaign, the same cannot be said of their Pro14 exploits, losing two of their first three matches.

Team News:

Off the field, the headline news is undoubtedly Simon Zebos announcement to leave Munster at the end of the season as he looks destined for pastures new in France.

Focusing on matters on the field, expect a titanic battle between Bundee Aki & Munster’s Rory Scannell who are both in impressive form as of late.

Connacht: Tiernan O’Halloran, Darragh Leader, Bundee Aki, Tom Farrell, Cian Kelleher, Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion, Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney, Finlay Bealham; Ultan Dillane, James Cannon; Eoin McKeon, Jarrad Butler, John Muldoon (Capt)

Replacements: Dave Heffernan, Denis Coulson, Conor Carey, Quinn Roux, Eoghan Masterson, Caolin Blade, Craig Ronaldson, Niyi Adeolokun

Munster: Simon Zebo; Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Rory Scannell, Keith Earls, Ian Keatley, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Rhys Marshall, John Ryan; Mark Flanagan, Billy Holland; Peter O’Mahony Capt., Tommy O’Donnell, CJ Stander

Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, Liam O’Connor, Stephen Archer, Sean McCarthy, Jack O’Donoghue, Duncan Williams, JJ Hanrahan, Darren Sweetnam

Eoghan Masterson contests a lineout with Donnacha Ryan

Previous Encounters:

The two provinces have enjoyed success against one another with the last 6 ties split evenly with 3 wins apiece; although its worth noting Munster won both matches in the 2015/16 campaign.

The Citylink Verdict:

Expect sparks to fly in this one, the heart says Connacht, the head envisages a Munster win.

Citylink & Connacht Rugby:

Citylink will be running competitions for Connacht Rugby tickets & prizes on a regular basis so keep an eye on our Facebook, Twitter & Instagram so you don’t miss out!

TV: TG4, (KO 7:35PM)