Connacht head coach Andy Friend is not scared to give youth its head for this weekend's trip to Manchester to face Sale in the Challenge Cup.

Having made his debut off the bench last week in the win over Bordeaux, academy out-half Conor Fitzgerald will make his full debut alongside novice captain Caolin Blade.

"Sale are an impressive side and they are top of the pool after the bonus point win away to Perpignan last weekend. We have picked a strong side," said Friend.


"We have a few new players coming in who are there on merit and then we have a few more experienced guys coming back from injury. We have picked a side that we think can win the game and that is our intention going over to Sale."

Connemara man Colm De Buitléar is named on the wing in what will also be his first competitive start for his province, with Tom Farrell and Tiernan O’Halloran adding a little bit of experience to the backline.

The forward pack has a slightly more seasoned look to it, notwithstanding academy prop Matthew Burke being set for his debut off the bench.

Chris Ashton will make his debut for the Sharks after being named on the wing for the under-performing Premiership outfit.

Connacht:Tiernan O’Halloran; Niyi Adeolokun, Tom Farrell, Kyle Godwin, Colm De Buitléar; Conor Fitzgerald, Caolin Blade (c); Denis Buckley, Shane Delahunt, Conor Carey; Ultan Dillane, James Cannon; Paul Boyle, Colby Fainga’a, Robin Copeland 

Replacements: Tom McCartney, Matthew Burke, Conan O’Donnell, Joe Maksymiw, James Connolly, James Mitchell, David Horwitz, Eoin Griffin

Sale: Sam James; Byron McGuigan, James O’Connor, Rohan Janse Van Rensburg, Chris Ashton; Kieran Wilkinson, Faf De Klerk; Ross Harrison, Rob Webber, WillGriff John; Bryn Evans, James Phillips; Jono Ross (capt), Tom Curry, Josh Beaumont

Replacements: Curtis Langdon, Tom Bristow, Alexandru Tarus, George Nott, Ben Curry, Will Cliff, Luke James, Arron Reed

Follow live scoring of Sale v Connacht on RTÉ.ie/sport and the News Now app.

Marty Moore will make his first start for Ulster at tighthead away to Racing 92 tomorrow as one of three changes from the team that beat Leicester.

Kieran Treadwell comes into the second row, while the injured John Cooney is replaced by David Shanahan. 

While Simon Zebo starts at full-back for the Parisian outfit, there is no Donnacha Ryan in the matchday 23.

Ulster: Michael Lowry; Craig Gilroy, Will Addison, Stuart McCloskey, Jacob Stockdale; Billy Burns, David Shanahan; Andy Warwick, Rory Best (c), Marty Moore; Iain Henderson, Kieran Treadwell; Marcell Coetzee, Jordi Murphy, Nick Timoney

Replacements: Adam McBurney, Eric O’Sullivan, Ross Kane, Alan O’Connor, Sean Reidy, Jonny Stewart, Johnny McPhillips, Angus Kernohan

Racing 92: Simon Zebo; Teddy Thomas, Olivier Klemenczak, Henry Chavancy, Juan Imhoff; Finn Russell, Xavier Chauveau; Guram Gogichashvili, Camille Chat, Cedate Gomes Sa; Dominic Bird, Leone Nakarawa; Wenceslas Lauret, Bernard le Roux, Antonie Claassen.

Replacements: Teddy Baubigny, Vasil Kakovin, Census Johnston, Fabien Sanconnie, Jordan Joseph, Teddy Iribaren, Ben Volavola, Leonard Paris.

Listen to live and exclusive radio commentary of Racing 92 v Ulster on RTÉ Radio 1's Saturday Sport.