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Masterson Set For Connacht Debut : Irish Rugby

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Masterson Set For Connacht Debut

22 November 2013 11:50 By Editor Connacht Academy youngster Eoghan Masterson will feature in the province's back row on Saturday alongside Jake Heenan and Aly Muldowney © The Connacht team to face Scarlets in Saturday's RaboDirect PRO12 tie at the Sportsground (kick-off 5pm) has been named. Eoghan Masterson has been handed his first cap by head coach Pat Lam and starts at number 8. A month after signing for the Connacht Academy, the 20-year-old will make his senior debut at the Sportsground.

Hailing from Portlaoise where he attended the CBS, Masterson represented the Ireland Under-20s in the 2013 Six Nations game against Scotland.

While his mother is from Westport, it is his Scottish father that enabled Masterson to also represent Scotland U-20s in last summer's IRB Junior World Championship. The young back rower impressed the Connacht coaches in last weekend's 'A' interprovincial clash with Ulster Ravens.

This weekend's match against the Scarlets is Michael Swift's 250th for Connacht. His second row partner Craig Clarke captains the side on Saturday.

In the back-line, Galway man Eoin Griffin makes a welcome return to the centre, while Darragh Leader moves to the right wing. Craig Ronaldson has been selected at out-half.

Commenting on the team selection and the visit of the Scarlets, Pat Lam said: "Eoghan Masterson arrived here during the summer on trial with the Academy and since then, the coaching staff have been so impressed with his professionalism both on and off the field.

"He has worked hard on his game and has truly earned his opportunity and first senior Rabo game. I believe game-time at this level is an essential part of a young player's development once they do the hard work and it's great to see players like Eoghan, Darragh (Leader), Jake (Heenan), Craig (Ronaldson) and Matt (Healy) all following in the footsteps of Robbie (Henshaw) and Kieran (Marmion).

"The recent break really allowed the team to recoup, and we needed that especially as we know the Scarlets present a tough challenge.

"They had a good win against Ulster the last time out and they've been consistently playing at the top end of the table. Like all our games against Welsh sides, it's sure to be a physical encounter.

"Training this week has been good despite the disruption of losing Danie Poolman to injury on Thursday and only getting Eoin McKeon back training late in the week.

"But there was a great buzz at training and everyone is raring to go. We've prepared well and are looking forward to this fixture.

"We need to keep improving. In the last four or five games we have pushed teams really close. We have shown a lot of heart and commitment, and also created enough opportunities to win all of those games but we were not clinical enough.

"However, there is a real doggedness and determination to get off the bottom of the table and we want to start climbing, commencing tomorrow against the Scarlets."

CONNACHT (v Scarlets): Gavin Duffy; Darragh Leader, Eoin Griffin, David McSharry, Matt Healy; Craig Ronaldson, Kieran Marmion; Brett Wilkinson, Sean Henry, Nathan White, Michael Swift, Craig Clarke (capt), Aly Muldowney, Jake Heenan, Eoghan Masterson.

Replacements: Jason Harris-Wright, Ronan Loughney, Rodney Ah You, Michael Kearney, George Naoupu, Frank Murphy, Dan Parks, Fionn Carr.

Irish Rugby TV: Ireland U-19s v Australia Schools & U-18s Highlights Editor
Irish Rugby TV: Ireland U-19s v Australia Schools & U-18s Highlights 9 Dec, 01:34 The Ireland Under-19s, sponsored by PwC, kicked off their international season with a clash with the touring Australia Schools & Under-18 team at Energia Park on Saturday. Check out the Irish Rugby TV highlights from the game. Editor Irish Rugby TV: Ireland v USA 2018 GUINNESS Series Highlights 26 Nov, 12:04 Watch highlights from Ireland's final match of 2018 as they hosted the 13th-ranked USA Eagles in the GUINNESS Series at the Aviva Stadium. Andrew Conway weighed in with a hat-trick of tries on a night that saw his Munster team-mate Sam Arnold make his international debut. Editor Irish Rugby TV: Browne And Nucifora On Andy Farrell 26 Nov, 09:20 The IRFU have announced that Andy Farrell will become Ireland head coach after next year's Rugby World Cup. IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne and Performance Director David Nucifora speak about the decision to appoint Farrell as Joe Schmidt's successor in 2019. Editor Irish Rugby TV: David Nucifora On Joe Schmidt 26 Nov, 09:13 IRFU Performance Director David Nucifora speaks about Joe Schmidt's decision to finish coaching after the 2019 Rugby World Cup 2019 and his enormous contribution to Irish Rugby. "The success has been so outstanding across so many different areas. Joe deserves a lot of credit for that and there's more to come hopefully," he said. Editor Irish Rugby TV: Philip Browne On Joe Schmidt 26 Nov, 09:04 IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne speaks about Joe Schmidt's decision to finish coaching after the Rugby World Cup in Japan, and the 'huge contribution' the New Zealander has made to Irish Rugby. Editor Irish Rugby TV: Ireland v USA Post-Match Press Conference 24 Nov, 23:58 Head coach Joe Schmidt reflects on Ireland's eight-try 57-14 win over the USA in the final game of the 2018 GUINNESS Series at the Aviva Stadium. Editor Irish Rugby TV: Ireland v USA Tunnel Cam At Aviva Stadium 24 Nov, 23:51 An exclusive behind-the-scenes look as Ireland defeated the USA 57-14 at the Aviva Stadium to finish the 2018 GUINNESS Series unbeaten. Editor Irish Rugby TV: Tadhg Beirne On Ireland's Eight-Try Win Over USA 24 Nov, 20:55 Try-scoring lock Tadhg Beirne said 'it was a good shift in the end' as Ireland got the better of the USA, who made it a tough battle before falling to a 57-14 defeat at the Aviva Stadium. Editor Irish Rugby TV: Sam Arnold 'Absolutely Loved' His Ireland Debut 24 Nov, 20:51 Sam Arnold won his first cap for Ireland, coming on as a half-time replacement in their 57-14 GUINNESS Series win over the USA. He spoke to Irish Rugby TV about his debut and his journey to becoming an Ireland international player. Editor Irish Rugby TV: Rhys Ruddock - Ireland v USA Captain's Run Preview 23 Nov, 13:15 On the eve of the final game of the GUINNESS Series against the USA, Ireland captain Rhys Ruddock says the squad have a high standard to live up to following last weekend's epic win over New Zealand. Editor Irish Rugby TV: Ireland v USA Team Announcement Press Conference 22 Nov, 16:03 Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt and scrum half John Cooney, who comes in for his first start, spoke to the media at the team announcement press conference ahead of Saturday's GUINNESS Series game against the USA. Editor Irish Rugby TV: Will Addison On Ireland's 'Collective Intent' Against USA 22 Nov, 14:19 Ulster's Will Addison earns his third Ireland cap on Saturday having come off the bench against Italy and stepped in as a late replacement for Robbie Henshaw against Argentina. He previews the challenge the team will face from the USA. Editor Irish Rugby TV: MIchelle Claffey Previews Ireland Women's Twickenham Test 21 Nov, 15:46 Ireland Women's centre Michelle Claffey spoke to Irish Rugby TV about her first start in the green jersey last weekend, her disappointment with the result against the USA, and how much she is looking forward to facing England at Twickenham. Editor Irish Rugby TV: Adam Griggs On 'One Of The Biggest Challenges In Women's Rugby' 21 Nov, 15:36 Head coach Adam Griggs spoke to Irish Rugby TV about the new faces in the Ireland squad, the lessons learned from the game against the USA, and the challenge of facing England at Twickenham Stadium. Editor Irish Rugby TV: I Want To Take Any Chance That Comes My Way - McCloskey 21 Nov, 10:45 Ulster centre Stuart McCloskey, who is poised to play against the USA this weekend, spoke to the media about how he wants to put his best foot forward in any chance he gets for Ireland. Editor Irish Rugby TV: We Put Pressure On Ourselves To Set Standards - Scannell 21 Nov, 08:37 Hooker Niall Scannell is 'hungry for more' time in the green jersey and not content to rest on the laurels of his successful summer tour in Australia. The 26-year-old was on media duty yesterday ahead of Ireland's final GUINNESS Series game against the USA on Saturday. Editor Irish Rugby TV: Ireland Women v USA Women - The Club View 20 Nov, 20:00 The Ireland Women's team had huge support at Energia Park for the first of their November internationals. A number of clubs organised buses to Donnybrook to bring players and supporters from across the provinces. Irish Rugby TV tagged along with Wicklow RFC to see what the journey was like. Editor Irish Rugby TV: 'It's A Great Opportunity, The Focus Has Switched' - Richie Murphy 20 Nov, 16:38 Ireland skills and kicking coach Richie Murphy spoke to the media about half-backs Kieran Marmion, Joey Carbery and Jonathan Sexton, the historic win over New Zealand, and refocusing for Saturday's GUINNESS Series finale against the USA. Editor Irish Rugby TV: 'We're Constantly Looking To Improve' - Henderson 19 Nov, 15:34 Iain Henderson reflects on Ireland's historic first ever win over New Zealand on home soil and says the squad are always looking to improve and work harder in training and on the pitch. Editor Irish Rugby TV: 'This Was A Total Squad Effort' - Sexton 19 Nov, 15:30 Ireland out-half Jonathan Sexton spoke to Irish Rugby TV about the effort put in by the whole squad in the build-up to the New Zealand game and the need to maintain that standard for next Saturday's GUINNESS Series finale against the USA. Editor
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