Elsewhere, Marnus Uijs is preferred to Jerry Flannery and in the back-line, Ted Robinson returns to the left wing at the expense of Wayne Munn and the return of Shane Moore means there is no place for James Norton who drops to the bench.
Gavin Duffy played at full-back against Glasgow, with Mark McHugh in the centre alongside Darren Yapp. However on Friday, McHugh will operate in the last line of defence, Duffy switches to the wing and Moore and Yapp form the centre pairing.
Obviously, with home adavantage, Munster must start favourites although they too will be without some leading lights. They look particularly light in the backs where injury has ruled out, regular choice full-backs, Jeremy Staunton and Dominic Crotty, and wingers John Kelly, John O'Neill and Anthony Horgan..
Connacht: M. McHugh; G. Duffy; D. Yapp; S. Moore (capt.); T. Robinson; E. Elwood; C. Keane; R. McCormack; M. Uijs; P. Bracken; D. Browne; R. Frost; P. Neville; J. O'Sullivan; J. O'Connor. Replacements: F. Boiroux; J. Flannery; M. Swift; E. Peters; E. Reddan; J. Norton; W. Munn.