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Magners Preview: Connacht v Glasgow Warriors

Magners Preview: Connacht v Glasgow Warriors

Connacht’s final home match of the season sees them taking on Glasgow, a side two places above them in the table, as they look to clock up as many points as possible in the Magners League run-in.

MAGNERS LEAGUE: Friday, April 13

CONNACHT (10th) v GLASGOW WARRIORS (8th), The Sportsground, 6.30pm

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Team News: Connacht coach Michael Bradley has made two changes, in addition to two positional changes, to his team for Friday’s clash with Glasgow.

Daniel Riordan comes back into the side in place of the injured Mark McHugh and Ray Hogan is named in the front row in place of Stephen Knoop.

Gavin Duffy is moved from full-back to outside centre, with John Hearty moving from outside to inside centre in a reshuffled back line.

Aidan Wynne is named amongst the replacements for the first time this season as the Ireland U-20 Grand Slam winner bids to stake his claim for a place in the starting line-up.

Glasgow have been boosted by the return of Argentinian international full-back Francisco Leonelli for the trip to the west of Ireland. Leonelli has recovered from the groin injury which has kept him out of action since November’s meeting between these two sides.

His inclusion is one of three changes, including one positional, that coach Sean Lineen has made to the side that beat league leaders Leinster 26-20 at Hughenden last Friday. To accommodate Leonelli, Rory Lamont switches from full-back to the right wing, while Moray Low takes the place of Euan Murray as tighthead prop.

Connacht: Daniel Riordan; Darren Yapp, Gavin Duffy, John Hearty, Conor McPhillips; Paul Warwick, Chris Keane; Brett Wilkinson, Adrian Flavin, Ray Hogan, Michael Swift, Andrew Farley, John Muldoon, Ray Ofisa, Colm Rigney.

Replacements: John Fogarty, Brett Sturgess, Ryan Strudwick, Matt Lacey, Peter Durcan, Aidan Wynne, David Slemen.

Glasgow: Francisco Leonelli; Rory Lamont, Graeme Morrison, Scott Barrow, Thom Evans; Dan Parks, Graeme Beveridge; Justin Va’a, Fergus Thomson, Moray Low, Andy Newman, Alastair Kellock (capt), Steve Swindall, John Barclay, John Beattie.

Replacements: Scott Lawson, Kevin Tkachuk, James Eddie, Andrew Wilson, Donnie Macfadyen, Colin Gregor, Hefin O’Hare.

Referee: Neil Ballard (Wales)
Touch Judges: Dermot Moloney, Peter Roche (both Ireland)

Team League Statistics: Connacht: Top Points Scorer – Mark McHugh 101 (1 try, 9 conversions, 24 penalty goals and 2 drop goals); Top Try Scorer – Matt Mostyn 4

Glasgow: Top Points Scorer – Dan Parks 136 (3 tries, 17 conversions, 27 penalty goals and 2 drop goals); Top Try Scorer – Thom Evans 4

Previous League Meetings:

December 2001 – Quarter-Final – Connacht 29 Glasgow 34, The Sportsground
October 2002 – Glasgow 29 Connacht 7, Hughenden
September 2003 – Glasgow 19 Connacht 30, Hughenden
February 2004 – Connacht 28 Glasgow 28, The Sportsground
September 2004 – Connacht 15 Glasgow 31, The Sportsground
December 2004 – Glasgow 35 Connacht 0, Hughenden
November 2005 – Glasgow 30 Connacht 15, Hughenden
May 2006 – Connacht 33 Glasgow 7, The Sportsground
November 2006 – Glasgow 39 Connacht 34, Hughenden

Match Facts:

– Connacht’s only win since December 8 was a 20-17 success against Border Reivers in Galway on March 2. This is Connacht’s final home game of the season

– Glasgow Warriors have won three of their last four matches in the Magners League, including a 26-20 victory over table-topping Leinster at Hughenden last Friday

– The Warriors have managed just one win in Ireland since 2001 – a 26-20 triumph at Munster on February 18 of this year

– The last five encounters between Connacht and Glasgow have all been won by the home side on the day, whilst the Warriors’ only win in Galway so far was 2001’s quarter-final victory (34-29)