Youth has got chance to impress
ANDY Friend hopes youth will take its chance as two experimental teams do battle as Connacht welcome Bordeaux-begles to the Sportsground.
Only six Connacht players and three from the French outfit are retained from last weekend’s respective league outings.
Academy players Conor Fitzgerald and Colm De Buitlear could debut from the bench for the home side.
On the heels of an historic interpro win over Ulster last weekend, Connacht were further lifted by the announcement of plans to redevelop the Sportsground.
Friend wants to see a European win to add to the good mood in Galway.
He said: “This is a competition Connacht have a proud tradition in and we hope to make a big impact in this season.
“We are coming off six tough PRO14 games, so it is only natural there is some rotation of the squad.
“But we have a good blend of youth and experience among the squad. We hope they will get a chance to make their debuts at some stage during the 80 minutes.
“We know Bordeaux will come with a big physical side and we are expecting a massive challenge.”
Injuries have denied Connacht the chance to field Kieran Marmion, Tiernan O’halloran and
Tom Farrell as Friend has retained six of the team that won in Ulster for the first time since 1960, including Jack Carty, who starts his seventh straight game of the season.
EXPERIMENTING Andy Friend has mixed things up