Robbie Henshaw and Jack Carty.

Battle of Athlone! Henshaw and Carty on opposing sides in Friday's clash

Athlone's two biggest rugby stars will face off against one another when Connacht take on Leinster in the Sportsground, Galway, tomorrow evening (Friday, November 8). 

Jack Carty has been named in the Connacht side while Robbie Henshaw will line out for Leinster in what will be both players' first game since their involvement with Ireland's Rugby World Cup campaign in Japan. 

Carty and Henshaw are both past pupils of the Marist College in Athlone and both have represented the Buccaneers club in the town. 

Tomorrow's game in the Guinness PRO 14 will be Carty's first outing since Ireland’s win over Russia in the World Cup, will Henshaw, who missed the early World Cup games through injury, scored a try in the team's quarter final defeat to New Zealand.

Henshaw, of course, began his journey in professional rugby with Connacht before joining Leinster in 2016.  

The game, which kicks off at 7.35pm, will be broadcast live on TG4.

Connacht Head Coach Andy Friend said: "We obviously face another huge challenge this weekend against Leinster but our challenge is to just maintain the consistency we have seen over the past few weeks both at home and away. 

"We take huge pride in our home record, with just one loss in thirteen games and we expect a massive crowd again on Friday night," he stated. 

The two teams are as follows: 

(15-9): Darragh Leader, Niyi Adeolokun, Tom Farrell, Peter Robb, Stephen Fitzgerald, Jack Carty, Caolin Blade
(1-8): Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney, Finlay Bealham, Cillian Gallagher, Joe Maksymiw, Eoghan Masterson, Jarrad Butler (C), Paul Boyle.
Replacements: Dave Heffernan, Matthew Burke, Dominic Robertson-McCoy, Sean O’Brien, Colby Fainga’a, Kieran Marmion, Bundee Aki, Kyle Godwin.

(15-9): Hugo Keenan, Adam Byrne, Robbie Henshaw, Joe Tomane, James Lowe, Ross Byrne, Luke McGrath
(1-8): Cian Healy, Rónan Kelleher, Andrew Porter, Devin Toner, Scott Fardy (c), Josh Murphy, Will Connors, Max Deegan. 
Replacements: James Tracy, Ed Byrne, Michael Bent, Ross Molony, Rhys Ruddock, Jamison Gibson-Park, Ciarán Frawley, Rob Kearney.