Connacht head coach Andy Friend has named two Academy players on the bench for his side's opening Challenge Cup game against Bordeaux Bégles at the Sportsground on Saturday (kick off 3pm). 

Out-half Conor Fitzgerald and Connemara man Colm De Buitlear, who has featured across the back three, are named among the Connacht replacements. 

In the starting XV the front row of props Peter McCabe and Conor Carey along with hooker Shane Delahunt are all set for their first starts of the season. 

In the second row there is one change from the side that defeated Ulster last weekend, with James Cannon starting alongside Quinn Roux. Captain Jarrad Butler at blindside, Colby Fainga’a at openside and number 8 Robin Copeland complete the pack.

Caolin Blade comes back in at scrum-half for the injured Kieran Marmion where he partners Jack Carty, who has been in outstanding form this season.

Elsewhere in the back line the experienced Eoin Griffin joins Bundee Aki in midfield. Kyle Godwin is named on the wing with Niyi Adeolokun on the opposite wing, and Cian Kelleher at full-back making up the back three.

Connacht: Cian Kelleher, Niyi Adeolokun, Eoin Griffin, Bundee Aki, Kyle Godwin, Jack Carty, Caolin Blade, (1-8) Peter McCabe, Shane Delahunt, Conor Carey, James Cannon, Quinn Roux, Jarrad Butler (c), Colby Fainga’a, Robin Copeland. 

Replacements: Tom McCartney, Conán O’Donnell, Finlay Bealham, Joe Maksymiw, James Connolly, Conor McKeon, Conor Fitzgerald, Colm De Buitléar.