Connacht will be hoping to get back on track after last week's collapse against Llanelli, while the Gunners could net a hat-trick of consecutive wins over Irish opponents.
MAGNERS LEAGUE: Friday, September 22
CONNACHT v EDINBURGH, The Sportsground, 6.30pm
**IrishRugby.ie will be supplying live score updates from the Sportsground**
Team News: Connacht coach Michael Bradley has made three changes to the side that lost to Llanelli for this week's clash with Edinburgh.
Galway speedster Daniel Riordan, who only turns 22 on Monday, and new team captain and hooker John Fogarty have both been brought in for their first starts of the competitive season.
Riordan comes in as part of a back line reshuffle with the injured Paul Warwick being replaced at outside centre by John Hearty, while former Ireland international Matt Mostyn vacates his usual full-back position, taking over from Conor McPhillips on the right wing with Riordan to fill the number 15 jersey.
In the forwards, Adrian Flavin makes way for the fit-again Fogarty, who has been part of the extended Ireland squad for this week's mini training camp. Samoan flanker Ray Ofisa looks poised to make his debut for Connacht off the bench.
Simon Webster has recovered from injury to be named in the Gunners' side for the clash with Connacht. The Scotland winger's inclusion means that Ben Cairns moves to outside centre and Marcus Di Rollo starts on the bench in place of Mike Pyke.
Edinburgh will field the same forwards as last week's 20-15 win over Ulster, the only change being on the replacements bench where apprentice Steven Turnbull has been listed instead of Fergus Pringle. The Scotland Under-19 lock has the chance to make his first appearance for Edinburgh. Apprentice prop Alan Dymock will also travel with the squad.
Connacht: Daniel Riordan; Matt Mostyn, John Hearty, Gavin Williams, Keith Matthews; Mark McHugh, Chris Keane; Brett Wilkinson, John Fogarty (capt), Brett Sturgess, David Gannon, Andrew Farley, John Muldoon, Matt Lacey, Colm Rigney.
Replacements: Adrian Flavin, Michael Diffley, Michael Swift, Ray Ofisa, Tom Tierney, David Slemen, Darren Yapp.
Edinburgh: Hugo Southwell; Chris Paterson (capt), Ben Cairns, Rob Dewey, Simon Webster; Phil Godman, Mike Blair; Allan Jacobsen, Dougie Hall, Alasdair Dickinson, Matt Mustchin, Scott Murray, Alasdair Strokosch, Ross Rennie, Allister Hogg.
Replacements: Andrew Kelly, Dave Hewett, Steven Turnbull, David Callam, Greig Laidlaw, Duncan Hodge, Marcus Di Rollo.
Referee: James Jones (Wales)
Touch Judges: Olan Trevor, Seamus Flannery (both Ireland)
Coach Speak: Michael Bradley (Connacht) - "We were particularly disappointed with some of the tries we conceded (against Llanelli). Three of them were soft from our perspective, but on the night we could have no complaints.
"We were chasing the game from the start, so there was always the danger we would cough up some soft scores. We needed to make our dominance at the start of the second half county, in terms of scores, but while it was encouraging the way we took the game to them at that stage, we were not able to make it count on the scoreboard.
"This (Edinburgh game) will be the third of six successive Magners League games we have at home. In that time some of the best rugby players in Europe will come to the Sportsground.
"We knew from the outset it would be a challenge and having won our opening two games we will be looking to getting back to winning ways against Edinburgh, even though it will be tough."
Lynn Howells (Edinburgh) - "It's great to have Simon Webster back as he's a quality player, is exciting and has the ability to break down defences. Ben Cairns' preferred position is centre although he played on the wing last week, and he's been selected because he's the on-form centre at the moment.
"Steven Turnbull has been selected as, looking to the future, we have to develop young players, if we don't give them game time now, they won't be ready to do the job when asked to do so.
"This week we're looking to take things forward from the last 20 minutes against Ulster where we fought hard for possession and the result. Michael Bradley has already stated Connacht's intentions, but we'll go and play rugby to the best of our abilities."
PREVIOUS LEAGUE MEETINGS:
August 2001 - Connacht 21 Edinburgh 30, The Sportsground
September 2003 - Connacht 11 Edinburgh 3, The Sportsground
February 2004 - Edinburgh 17 Connacht 32, Meadowbank
October 2004 - Connacht 24 Edinburgh 35, The Sportsground
March 2005 - Edinburgh 13 Connacht 16, Murrayfield
September 2005 - Edinburgh 34 Connacht 3, Murrayfield
May 2006 - Connacht 16 Edinburgh 22, The Sportsground
- Connacht's three-match winning run in the league came to an end with last week's 37-15 defeat to Llanelli Scarlets. Edinburgh, meanwhile, have beaten both Leinster and Ulster in successive weeks in the Magners League and are going for a hat-trick of consecutive wins over Irish opponents for the first time ever
- Edinburgh won both of their encounters with Connacht last season, while the men from the west have not beaten the Gunners since their 16-13 success at Murrayfield in March 2005
- Connacht out-half Mark McHugh is currently the fourth top scorer in the Magners League, with 41 points (1 try, 3 conversions and 10 penalties). Edinburgh's Chris Paterson is ranked joint-seventh on 28 points (2 conversions and 8 penalties)
- McHugh has been successful with 13 of his last 17 kicks at goal, giving him a 76.47% success rate. Paterson has landed 10 out of 16 (62.50%)
- Connacht and Ulster are the only teams left in the 2006/07 Magners League not to have received a yellow card. Back row Allister Hogg is the only Gunners player to have been sin-binned
- The Connacht pack will have to be on guard as the westerners have conceded a penalty try in each of their last two meetings with Edinburgh. The Gunners scored eight tries in their two wins against Connacht last season. In contrast, in their last three clashes with the Scots, Connacht have scored only two tries from Paul Warwick and Tom Tierney