Connacht coach Michael Bradley has opted to make three changes to the side that hammered Cetransa El Salvador for tomorrow’s crucial Magners League derby clash with Ulster (The Sportsground, kick-off 7.30pm).
The westerners’ confidence is up after last Friday’s record European win over Spanish side El Salvador.
Michael Bradley’s men ran in 13 tries for a morale-boosting victory, and in further boosts this week, Mel Deane, Matt Mostyn and Andy Dunne are all back from injury.
Deane, Johnny O’Connor and Conor McPhillips have all been recalled to the starting line-up for the first time since Connacht’s Challenge Cup defeat to Brive two weeks ago. McPhillips did see action in the second half of the El Salvador game.
Dunne, who kicked Old Belvedere to an important AIB League Division One win over Terenure College last weekend, has been named on the Connacht bench after recovering from knee surgery.
If called upon, the former Leinster player will be making his competitive debut for Connacht tomorrow night.
Bradley said: “This is a huge match for us and you’d have been able to pick this one out from a few weeks back that it was going to be a key game.
“It’s a big match for both ourselves and Ulster. They’re coming here bottom of the Magners League and we are just above them.
“If we beat them, and we are more than capable of doing that, it’ll put more pressure on them so I think it is safe to say this is a huge match for both sides.
“We’ve beaten Ulster twice in the last four years. They were excellent against us last year, leading 24-0 and we did well to get 17 points in the last few minutes of the game to scrape a point out of it after they beat us off the park here,” he told the Galway Independent.
CONNACHT (v Ulster): Gavin Duffy; Aidan Wynne, Danny Riordan, Mel Deane, Ofisa Treviranus; Tim Donnelly, Conor McPhillips; Brett Wilkinson, Adrian Flavin, Robbie Morris, Michael Swift, Andrew Farley (capt), Michael McCarthy, Johnny O’Connor, John Muldoon.
Replacements: Joe Merrigan, Ronan Loughney, Andrew Browne, Ray Ofisa, Conor O’Loughlin, Andy Dunne, Darren Yapp.