Connacht coach Michael Bradley has announced his team to face Castres Olympique in the return match between the clubs at the Sportsground on Saturday (kick-off 4pm).
Connacht’s selected side shows ten changes, as well as three positional switches, to the starting line-up for last Tuesday’s meeting with the French Top 14 outfit. Andrew Farley is recalled and named as captain in the second row alongside David Gannon, with Andrew Browne and Michael Swift making way.
Ofisa Treviranus is recalled on the right wing in place of Alipate Tuilevuka and John Hearty moves from outside centre to the left wing, in place of Darren Yapp, as Mel Deane is repositioned to outside centre.
There is a new half-back partnership with Tim Donnelly and Conor McPhillips starting ahead of Peter Durcan and Rob Shaw, and in the front row, Brett Wilkinson moves back to loosehead prop in place of John Lyne, with Adrian Flavin stepping in at hooker for Joe Merrigan and Brian McGovern starting on the tighthead side.
In the back row, Colm Rigney comes back in at number eight in place of John Muldoon and Michael McCarthy comes is preferred to Ray Ofisa at number six.
In all eleven replacements have been named for the game with Bradley trying to get his players as much game-time as possible ahead of the new season.
CONNACHT (v Castres): Danny Riordan; Ofisa Treviranus, Mel Deane, Keith Matthews, John Hearty; Tim Donnelly, Conor McPhillips; Brett Wilkinson, Adrian Flavin, Brian McGovern; David Gannon, Andrew Farley (capt), Michael McCarthy, Johnny O’Connor, Colm Rigney.
Replacements (from): John Fogarty, Joe Merrigan, John Lyne, Kevin Moran, Robbie Morris, Michael Swift, John Muldoon, Tom Tierney, Peter Durcan, Aidan Wynne, Darren Yapp.