Connacht bring Blade to battle sharp Sharks

Connacht scrumhalf Caolin Blade will reach an impressive career milestone when he sprints out against the Sharks in a Vodacom United Rugby Championship match in Durban on Saturday.

Blade will make his 150th appearance for Connacht, who have made six changes from the side that beat the Lions last week.

Finlay Bealham, Gavin Thornbury, Leva Fifita, Conor Oliver, Conor Fitzgerald and Tom Farrell are all brought into the starting XV.

Bealham forms an experienced front row with Denis Buckley and Dave Heffernan, while Jarrad Butler captains the side from number 8 with Cian Prendergast at blindside flanker.

Tom Daly partners Farrell at centre. The back three is unchanged so Mack Hansen again starts at full-back with wingers Alex Wootton and John Porch for company.

Connacht – 15 Mack Hansen, 14 John Porch, 13 Tom Farrell, 12 Tom Daly, 11 Alex Wootton, 10 Conor Fitzgerald, 9 Caolin Blade, 8 Jarrad Butler, 7 Conor Oliver, 6 Cian Prendergast, 5 Leva Fifita, 4 Gavin Thornbury, 3 Finlay Bealham, 2 Dave Heffernan, 1 Denis Buckley.
Subs: 16 Dylan Tierney-Martin, 17 Jordan Duggan, 18 Jack Aungier, 19 Niall Murray, 20 Oisín Dowling, 21 Kieran Marmion, 22 Jack Carty, 23 Tiernan O’Halloran.

Photo: Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

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Dylan Jack