SEAN O’BRIEN MAKES his return from injury to the Connacht starting XV on Saturday night when the province welcome Zebre to the Sportsground [KO 5.15].

Andy Friend has shuffled his pack for the visit of the Italian side this weekend, making four changes to the side that were beaten by Glasgow Warriors last week.

O’Brien and lock Gavin Thornbury take their place in the starting line-up, while Eoin Griffin and Quinn Roux complete the changes.

O’Brien slots into the back row alongside Paul Boyle at number eight and captain Jarrad Butler at openside. Caolin Blade and Jack Carty retain their places in the starting line-up, with Kieran Marmion settling for a spot among the replacements.

Connacht’s Quinn Roux during training this week. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

The back three is composed of Tiernan O’Halloran at full back alongside wingers Cian Kelleher and Matt Healy.

“All of our available players will get game time this weekend”, Friend said ahead of the game.

Zebre got their PRO14 campaign off to a winning start with a 16-point victory over Southern Kings last week, with Friend “well aware of the challenge” that the Italians pose.


15. Tiernan O’Halloran
14. Cian Kelleher
13. Eoin Griffin
12. Kyle Godwin
11. Matt Healy
10. Jack Carty
9. Caolin Blade

1. Denis Buckley
2. Dave Heffernan
3. Finlay Bealham
4. Gavin Thornbury
5. Quinn Roux
6. Sean O’Brien
7. Jarrad Butler (captain)
8. Paul Boyle


16. Shane Delahunt
17. Conán O’Donnell
18. Dominic Robertson-McCoy
19. James Cannon
20. Colby Fainga’a
21. Kieran Marmion
22. Craig Ronaldson
23. Niyi Adeolokun


15 Edoardo Padovani
14 Mattia Bellini
13 Giulio Bisegni
12 Nicolas De Battista
11 Giovanbattista Venditti
10 Carlo Canna
9 Marcello Violi

1 Andrea Lovotti
2 Oliviero Fabiani
3 Giosué Zilocchi
4 David Sisi
5 George Biagi (captain)
6 Matu Tevi
7 Johan Meyer
8 Renato Giammarioli


Click Here: spain rugby shirts

16 Massimo Ceciliani
17 Daniele Rimpelli
18 Roberto Tenga
19 Apisai Tauyavuca
20 Jimmy Tuivaiti
21 Guglielmo Palazzani
22 Francois Brummer
23 Tommaso Boni

The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us!