Youth has got chance to im­press

Daily Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - GAELIC GAMES - BY DE­CLAN ROONEY Con­nacht Bordeaux B

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

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