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Friend rolls out big guns for Cardiff



BIG GUNS: Andy Friend. Pic: Sportsfile

BIG GUNS: Andy Friend. Pic: Sportsfile

BIG GUNS: Andy Friend. Pic: Sportsfile

The sold-out signs around the Sportsground serve as a reminder of how important this is to Connacht this season and for next season.

Coach Andy Friend has called on all the big guns he can muster, like Bundee Aki, Ultan Dillane and Jack Carty, in order to do-down Cardiff, keeping the Welsh club at arms' length for third place in Conference A.

"The stakes are really high but our destiny remains in our own hands," said Friend.

"We must make sure we are nice and direct, that we control the football when we have it, and when we don't, we get don't give them easy yardage."

John Mulvihill's men showed against Munster last week that they have a cutting edge that is among the best in the PRO14 League.

Connacht: T O'Halloran, D Leader, T Farrell, B Aki, M Healy; J Carty, C Blade; D Buckley, D Heffernan, D Robertson-McCoy, U Dillane, G Thornbury, P Boyle, C Fainga'a, J Butler (capt).

Replacements: S Delahunt, M Burke, C Carey, J Cannon, R Copeland, K Marmion, T Daly, C Kelleher.

Cardiff Blues: M Morgan; O Lane, R Lee-Lo, W Halaholo, J Harries; G Anscombe (capt), T Williams; R Gill, E Lewis, D Lewis, G Earle, R Thornton, J Turnbull, O Robinson, S Davies.

Replacements: L Belcher, R Carre, D Arhip, S Lewis-Hughes, J Botham; L Williams, J Evans, G Smith.

Verdict: Connacht