Connacht and Munster will attempt to complete a clean sweep for the Irish provinces on Sunday when they begin their Heineken Champions Cup campaigns.

Leinster and Ulster both made winning starts on Saturday, the latter claiming a famous victory away to Clermont Auvergne while the former ran in seven tries against Bath in an Aviva Stadium rout.

Connacht welcome the French flair of Stade Francais to the Sportsground, kicking off in the early 1pm slot, before Munster look to pull off another backs-to-the-wall victory away to Wasps at 3.15pm, in what will be their first game for seven weeks.


Both games are live on BT Sport with coverage starting at 12.45pm.


Connacht v Stade Francais is live on RTÉ Radio 1 and Radio 1 Extra.

ONLINE will have live scoring and blogs with match reports and reaction from the grounds.


Stade Francais are likely to get an old-fashioned Sportsground test, with rain and wind expected, even if temperatures remain mild. It's also likely to be around 10 to 12 degrees in Coventry where Munster face Wasps, but the forecast is for a dry, cloudy day.


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It's a first meeting of these two sides, and Stade Francais are expected to get the full Sportsground welcome with wind and rain forecast in Galway.

The French side are back in Europe's top tier for the first time since 2015/16, and Gonzalo Quesada's side come into game on the back of some unpredictable form in the Top 14, having beaten La Rochelle last weekend to climb up to 10th place.

There are plenty of recognisable faces in the Stade starting line-up, with former All Black centre Ngani Laumape their ace in the pack, while they also boast Argentina stars Nicolas Sanchez and Marcos Kremer.

Injuries have ruled out Bundee Aki and Tom Daly for Connacht, but head coach Andy Friend has picked a strong side, particularly in his backline.

Signing of the season Mack Hansen was ruled out late on Friday, with fellow Aussie John Porch coming in to take his place on the left wing, while Shayne Bolton swaps with Peter Robb in the centre, an indication that they plan to run around the French side rather than through them.

After struggling last season, Connacht are on a four-game losing streak in this competition, but have their sights set on a place in the last 16, which would be their first time in the knockout stage of the Heineken Champions Cup.

Connacht: Oran McNulty; Alex Wootton, Shayne Bolton, Sammy Arnold, John Porch; Jack Carty (capt), Caolin Blade; Matthew Burke, Shane Delahunt, Finlay Bealham; Oisin Dowing, Niall Murray; Cian Prendergast, Conor Oliver, Jarrad Butler.

Replacements: Dave Heffernan, Jordan Duggan, Dominic Robertson-McCoy, Eoghan Masterson, Sean Masterson, Kieran Marmion, Conor Fitzgerald, Diarmuid Kilgallen.

Stade Francais: Telusa Veainu; Paul Champ, Alex Arrate, Ngani Laumape, Lester Etien; Nicolas Sanchez, James Hall; Quentin Bethune, Tolu Latu, Nemo Roelofse; JJ van der Mescht, Mathieu de Giovanni; Marcos Kremer, Charlie Francoz, Tala Gray (capt).

Replacements: Lucas Da Silva, Moses Alo-Emile, Paul Alo-Emile, Paul Gabrillagues, Loic Godener, William Percillier, Léo Barre, Adrien Lapegue.

Referee: Luke Pearce (England)

With nine of Munster's matchday 23 being seasoned Test stars, and 12 of the squad yet to play a game of senior rugby, the way in which youth blends with experience is going to be fascinating.

Whatever the outcome, it's going to be a day to remember for five of those young Munster men who make their debuts in the starting team.

James French, Scott Buckley, Eoin O'Connor, Daniel Okeke and Patrick Campbell would scarcely have believed a months ago that they would be preparing to start a Heineken Champions Cup game.

For Campbell in particular, the former Cork minor footballer only joined the academy last month, and will now be sharing a pitch with World Cup winners and Test Lions.

While the well-documented trip to South Africa have left Munster's team depleted, they will be giving themselves every chance of pulling off an upset against a Wasps team that look quite vulnerable.

Ravaged by injuries to key players like Joe Launchbury, Malakai Fekitoa, Paolo Odogwu, and Jack Willis, they've lost six of their last seven in both the Premiership and Premiership Cup, the only win in that time being against bottom side Bath.

Head coach Lee Blackett has been able to welcome back flanker Alfie Barbeary, while Irish fans will recognise former Leinster out-half Jimmy Gopperth who is starting at inside centre.

Wasps have only lost one of 11 home games against Irish opposition in the European Cup (W9,D1) – but that defeat came in their most recent such fixture, when they lost 37-19 to Leinster Rugby in January 2019.

Wasps: Marcus Watson; Zach Kibirige, Michael Le Bourgeois, Jimmy Gopperth, Josh Bassett; Jacob Umaga, Sam Wolstenholme; Tom West, Dan Frost, Biyi Alo; Sebastien de Chaves. Elliott Stooke; Alfie Barbeary, Brad Shields (capt), Tom Willis.

Replacements: Gabriel Oghre, Robin Hislop, Jeff Toomaga-Allen, Tim Cardall, Nizaam Carr, Thomas Young, Will Porter, Francois Hougaard.

Munster: Patrick Campbell; Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Damian de Allende, Keith Earls; Joey Carbery, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Scott Buckley, James French; Eoin O'Connor, Tadhg Beirne; Peter O’Mahony (capt), John Hodnett, Daniel Okeke.

Replacements: Declan Moore, Mark Donnelly, Roman Salanoa, John Forde, Conor Moloney, Ethan Coughlan, Tony Butler, Jonathan Wren.

Referee: Romain Poite (France)