Connacht without World Cup stars in SA

Ireland’s World Cup star Bundee Aki was not included in Connacht’s squad for the two-week mini-tour of South Africa.

Connacht on Monday named a 29-player squad that will travel to South Africa for the Vodacom URC fixtures against the Sharks and Vodacom Bulls.

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This evening the squad fly to Durban where they will be based for the majority of the two weeks, with their opening game against the Sharks this Saturday at 5pm.

While Ireland loosehead prop Finlay Bealham has made the cut, inside centre Aki and outside back Mack Hansen were both declared unavailable for selection.

Aki played in all but one of Ireland’s World Cup games, scoring five tries and earning a nomination for World Player of the Year.

According to reports in Ireland, Aki is currently struggling with a hamstring issue, while Hansen has an ankle injury.

Also left out of Connacht’s squad was Argentina outside back Santiago Cordero.

Connacht squad:

Forwards: Finlay Bealham, Denis Buckley, Peter Dooley, Oisín Dowling, Dave Heffernan, Shamus Hurley-Langton, Sam Illo, Sean Jansen, Joe Joyce, Tadgh McElroy, Darragh Murray, Niall Murray, Conor Oliver, Sean O’Brien, Dominic Robertson-McCoy, Cian Prendergast, Dylan Tierney-Martin

Backs: Caolin Blade, Jack Carty, Tom Farrell, Cathal Forde, JJ Hanrahan, David Hawkshaw, Diarmuid Kilgallen, Tiernan O’Halloran, John Porch, Byron Ralston, Colm Reilly, Andrew Smith

Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

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