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Dublin: 10 °C Wednesday 20 August, 2014

Gimme Samoa: Connacht fans ready to wave off Ray while Munster say hello to David

There is a new loose-head in town for Munster but Connacht will bid a Sportsground farewell to their two favourite Samoans.

Connacht captain Gavin Duffy gives Ray Ofisa a pat on the head
Connacht captain Gavin Duffy gives Ray Ofisa a pat on the head
Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie

AS ONE PLAYER looks to make a lasting impression on the Irish rugby scene this weekend, another that has contributed a lot to the game will prepare for his penultimate outing.

Munster have handed 24-year-old loose-head David Kilcoyne his first start for their RaboDirect PRO 12 clash with Scarlets on Saturday.

Connacht coach Eric Elwood has, meanwhile, selected the departing Ray Ofisa at Number 7 for his team’s encounter with Italian side Aironi.

Elwood has called on his team to ‘finish on a high’ against visiting Aironi and record a third successive victory.

Ofisa has been with the westerners since he signed from North Otago in 2007, recording more than 100 caps for the province. Former Biarittz and Leeds centre Fa’afili signed for Connacht last summer. Elwood commented:

It’ll be a big day for the likes of Ray (Ofisa) and Henry (Fa’afili) playing in front of the home crowd for the last time so it would be great to give them the send off they deserve and finish with a win.

Prop-er order

With Munster in with a chance of a top-four league finish, David Kilcoyne will be asked to make a significant contribution. The Limerick born prop appeared on the replacements bench for the province back in 2009 but has found his time with the first-team limited since then.

His only appearance with the senior side this season came in the final 12 minutes of Munster’s match against Connacht at the Showgrounds.

A solid outing against the Leinster A front-row in Munster’s British & Irish Cup semi-final win on Good Friday was enough to bring him to the attention of head coach Tony McGahan.

BJ Botha will be on the other side of the front-row and fellow South African, Wian du Preez has been named as a replacement.

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