A groin injury means Connacht will be minus centre Keith Matthews, their top try scorer this season, for Friday's Challenge Cup trip to Montpellier.
EUROPEAN CHALLENGE CUP: POOL 5: Friday, October 28
Montpellier v Connacht, Stade Sabathe, 6.30pm Irish time
Fresh from their record ten-try 62-17 defeat of Italian side Amatori Catania last weekend, Connacht face familiar foes Montpellier this Friday in their second Challenge Cup match of the season.
Points difference separates Connacht and Worcester Warriors, who beat Montpellier 36-18 last Saturday at the Sixways Stadium, at the top of Pool Five.
Connacht coach Michael Bradley has made two changes to his side for the return to Stade Sabathe, where Montpellier prevailed in a bruising encounter last December. The westerners, however, were travelling with a 56-3 first leg advantage - fly half Paul Warwick scored 26 points in the opener in Galway.
Unfortunately, on-form centre Keith Matthews is suffering from a groin injury after last weekend's hat-trick heroics against the Italians. The UL Bohs centre scored three tries to take his debut season's tally up to five in eight games. Former Ireland Under-21 John Hearty replaces him in the starting line-up at outside centre, with Darren Yapp, who scored a brace against Catania, filling the number 12 jersey.
Up front, John Fogarty comes back in for young Galwegians hooker Joe Merrigan. Kiwi lock Andrew Gallagher replaces ankle injury victim Brendan O'Connor on the bench, where Merrigan takes over from South African Chris venter as the replacement hooker.
Bradley will be on the look-out for a good performance ahead of his side's return to Celtic League action and December's back-to-back Challenge Cup clashes with Worcester.
Montpellier, coached by Didier Bes and Patrick Arlettaz, are currently third from bottom in the French Top 14 championship with just two wins from nine outings.
Previous Meetings: 04/05: Connacht 56 Montpellier 3, The Sportsground; Montpellier 19 Connacht 14, Stade Sabathe
CONNACHT: Matt Mostyn; Ted Robinson, John Hearty, Darren Yapp, Conor McPhillips; Paul Warwick, Chris Keane; Ray Hogan, John Fogarty, Stephen Knoop, Christian Short, Andrew Farley (capt), John Muldoon, Matt Lacey, Colm Rigney.
Replacements: Joe Merrigan, Dan McFarland, Andrew Gallagher, David Gannon, Michael Swift, Conor O'Loughlin, Daniel Riordan.
Referee: David Changleng (Scotland)