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Saturday 23 March 2019

Farrell in as Daly debuts

Pro14 League: Connacht v Munster Sportsground, Today (TG4/eir Sport 1 KO 7.35)

Chris Farrell
Chris Farrell

Excuses are as much a part of the post-match conversation as reasons.

Munster actually lost the second half to Leinster 14-13 and were saved from a dramatic endgame by Keith Earls' intervention.

Afterwards, the name Chris Farrell kept cropping up as the catalyst that can turn Munster's backline from something good on paper into something great on the field of play.

Well, the centre will be the spearhead for Munster's back play at No 13 in Galway tonight.

The sheer size, physicality and under-rated skills of Farrell will make him a handful for the well-regarded Tom Farrell, especially with Bundee Aki nowhere to be seen.

On-loan Leinster centre Tom Daly will get a quick shot at establishing his credentials in between Tom Farrell and Jack Carty.

Out-half Carty has been transformed this season from a shaky playmaker into a trusted leader, who has brought previously perceived weaknesses, like goal-kicking, up to the standard necessary.

Connacht have the form and motivation to overtake Munster in Conference A to reward Denis Buckley on his 150th cap.

Connacht: D Leader; C Kelleher, T Farrell, T Daly, M Healy; J Carty, C Blade; D Buckley, D Heffernan (capt), D Robertson-McCoy, G Thornbury, Q Roux, P Boyle, C Fainga'a, E Masterson. Reps: T McCartney, P McCabe, F Bealham, U Dillane, C Gallagher; A Lloyd, D Horwitz, C De Buitlear.

Munster: A Conway; K Earls, C Farrell, D Goggin, A Wootton; J Carbery, A Mathewson; J Loughman, N Scannell, J Ryan, J Kleyn, T Beirne, P O'Mahony (capt), T O'Donnell, A Botha. Reps: K O'Byrne, D Kilcoyne, S Archer, B Holland, CJ Stander; C Murray, T Bleyendaal, S Arnold.

Verdict: Connacht.

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