Ireland internationals Jack Carty and Bundee Aki have been named in the Connacht squad to play Leinster in the Pro14 on Friday in The Sportsground.

Carty comes straight back into the side at out-half while Aki is named among the replacements for the first interpro clash of the season.

Carty plays his first game since Ireland's win over Russia in the World Cup and he forms a half-back partnership with Caolin Blade. At midfield, Peter Robb is retained after his recent outstanding performances and he will be partnered by Tom Farrell.

Elsewhere in the backline Stephen Fitzgerald comes in on the wing with Darragh Leader at full-back and the in-form Niyi Adeolokun on the opposite wing.

Up front, there is a highly experienced front row with Denis Buckley and Finlay Bealham filling the loosehead and tighthead spots respectively and Tom McCartney named at hooker.

In the second row, Sligo man Cillian Gallagher comes in for his first start of the season alongside Joe Maksymiw. The back row has a familiar look to it with flankers Eoghan Masterson and Jarrad Butler lining up alongside Paul Boyle at number 8.

Leo Cullen has made a number of changes for Leinster as he welcomes back six players that were away in Japan with Ireland.

Hugo Keenan has returned to the starting XV as he has recovered from the ankle injury picked up in the away win against Zebre, while Adam Byrne comes in on the right wing and James Lowe continues on the left.

Joe Tomane comes in at 12 this week with Robbie Henshaw making his first appearance of the season in blue outside him.

Another to make his seasonal bow is Luke McGrath who starts at scrum-half with Ross Byrne at ten beside him.

In the pack Cian Healy and Andrew Porter come back in to the side, with Rónan Kelleher again selected at hooker.

Devin Toner is in the second row with captain Scott Fardy completing the tight five.

In the back row Josh Murphy, Will Connors and Max Deegan are the trio selected by Cullen to take on Connacht, who lie second in Conference B of the Guinness Pro14.

On the bench there is a welcome return from a neck injury for Ed Byrne, while Rhys Ruddock and Rob Kearney are the final two players involved during the World Cup to be included.
Connacht team: Darragh Leader, Niyi Adeolokun, Tom Farrell, Peter Robb, Stephen Fitzgerald, Jack Carty, Caolin Blade.

Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney, Finlay Bealham, Cillian Gallagher, Joe Maksymiw, Eoghan Masterson, Jarrad Butler, Paul Boyle.

Replacements: Dave Heffernan, Matthew Burke, Dominic Robertson-McCoy, Sean O'Brien, Colby Fainga’a, Kieran Marmion, Bundee Aki, Kyle Godwin.

Leinster team: Hugo Keenan, Adam Byrne, Robbie Henshaw, Joe Tomane, James Lowe, Ross Byrne, Luke McGrath

Cian Healy, Ronan Kelleher, Andrew Porter, Devin Toner, Scott Fardy, Josh Murphy, Will Connor, Max Deegan

Replacements: James Tracy, Ed Byrne, Michael Bent, Ross Molony, Rhys Ruddock, Jamison Gibson-Park, Ciaran Frawley, Rob Kearney

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