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Connacht XV to face Benetton Treviso

Guinness PRO12 Editor

2 Sep 2011

Connacht Rugby have announced the starting XV that will take on Benetton Treviso in the opening round of the RaboDirect PRO12 this Saturday.

Gavin Duffy will lead the side out, having been unveiled as Connacht’s new captain earlier this week. The 6’2 former Mayo Minor footballer has 10 Irish caps and was part of Declan Kidneys World Cup training squad this year. He is supported on the wings by flying Ulsterman Mark McCrea and Ireland U20 International Tiernan O’Halloran while the dynamic centre partnership of Henry Fa’aili and Eoin Griffin complete the backline.

Talented scrumhalf Frank Murphy and former Ospreys outhalf Matthew Jarvis renew their halfback pairing following a fine display against Saracens last week.

Connacht have 4 players in the pack with more than 100 caps. Flavin, McCarthy and Muldoon have all reached the milestone while Michael Swift is just short of his 200th cap for the Province. Ronan Loughney and Ray Ofisa, with 80 and 89 caps respectively provide plenty more experience with George Naoupu and Rodney Ah You completing the firepower of the forwards.

Connacht starting XV to face Benetton Treviso (Stadio Monigo, Treviso – Saturday 4th September – ko 15.00 local (14.00 Irish time)

1. Ronan Loughney
2. Adrian Flavin
3. Rodney Ah You
4. Michael Swift
5. Mike McCarthy
6. John Muldoon
7. Ray Ofisa
8. George Naoupu

9. Frank Murphy
10. Matthew Jarvis
11. Tiernan O’Halloran
12. Henry Fa’afili
13. Eoin Griffin
14. Mark McCrea
15. Gavin Duffy (C)

16. Ethienne Reynecke
17. Denis Buckley
18. Dylan Rogers
19. TJ Anderson
20. Johnny O’Connor
21. Paul O’Donohoe
22. Nial O’Connor
23. Brian Tuohy

Connacht will play their first home game of the season in the newly refurbished Sportsground next weekend when they host the Scarlets on Saturday 10th September. Tickets for that match, along with Season Tickets, can still be purchased from www.connachtrugby.ie