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Magners Preview: Connacht v Glasgow

Magners Preview: Connacht v Glasgow

Connacht, having slipped to bottom spot in the Magners League table, are hoping to make up some ground by beating Glasgow Warriors tonight. However, the Scots are in good form and have beaten Connacht the last three times they have clashed.

MAGNERS LEAGUE: Friday, November 30

CONNACHT v GLASGOW WARRIORS, The Sportsground, 6.30pm

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Team News: Connacht coach Michael Bradley has made three changes to his team for tonight’s tussle with Glasgow Warriors in Galway.

Andy Dunne starts for the first time for the province and Conor O’Loughlin has been included to partner him at half-back. Darren Yapp also comes into the side at outside centre in place of the injured Danny Riordan.

Riordan has a quad muscle injury, while fellow backs John Hearty (hip) and Keith Matthews (rib) and prop John Lyne (calf) are also ruled out.

Both David Gannon and John Fogarty have passed fitness tests this week and the pair have been included on a replacements bench that also includes Matt Mostyn for the first time since last November, after overcoming ankle and calf injuries.

This is Connacht’s final Magners League match at home before the new year and coach Bradley is eager to put the record straight after last weeks game against Ulster.

Meanwhile, Scotland hooker Dougie Hall, who missed the Rugby World Cup through injury, is set to return to Glasgow colours tonight. He has been named on the bench for the Warriors’ Magners League trip to Galway.

Hall rejoined Glasgow from Edinburgh during the summer but then tore the medial ligament in his left knee during a Scotland squad session in late July, the injury which forced him out of the World Cup.

Elsewhere, Glasgow boss Sean Lineen has made two changes to the starting line-up he selected for last week’s win over league leaders Cardiff Blues at Firhill.

Lome Fa’atau returns on the wing for Hefin O’Hare, while Graeme Morrison is chosen at outside centre with Andrew Henderson switching to inside centre as Daryl Gibson rests an Achilles injury.

Joining Hall as a change to the visitors’ replacements bench is his fellow front row forward Mike Collins, with O’Hare filling the outside back slot instead of Morrison.

Connacht: Gavin Duffy; Aidan Wynne, Darren Yapp, Mel Deane, Ofisa Treviranus; Andy Dunne, Conor O’Loughlin; Brett Wilkinson, Adrian Flavin, Robbie Morris, Michael Swift, Andrew Farley (capt), Michael McCarthy, Johnny O’Connor, John Muldoon.

Replacements: John Fogarty, Ronan Loughney, David Gannon, Ray Ofisa, Conor McPhillips, Tim Donnelly, Matt Mostyn.

Glasgow: Bernardo Stortoni; Lome Fa’atau, Graeme Morrison, Andrew Henderson, Thom Evans; Dan Parks, Chris O’Young; Justin Va’a, Fergus Thomson, Moray Low, Andy Newman, Alastair Kellock (capt), Kelly Brown, John Barclay, Johnnie Beattie.

Replacements: Dougie Hall, Mike Collins, Opeta Palepoi, James Eddie, Sam Pinder, Scott Barrow, Hefin O’Hare.

Referee: Neil Ballard (Wales)

Coach Speak: Michael Bradley (Connacht) – “We know we are a much better side than that (defeat to Ulster last week) but ultimately there is only one way we can rectify this and that is against Glasgow this Friday.

“We’re aware that Glasgow are playing good rugby but the fact we are at home is a big factor in our favour.

“We’re obviously disappointed with the result against Ulster last week but we’re looking forward to an opportunity to correct that and bounce back from Friday night’s defeat.

“We are frustrated by our own lack of success in the Ulster match but that was our first loss at home this season and we’re want to put the record straight.”

Sean Lineen (Glasgow) – “We’ve selected the same pack as started against Cardiff as Connacht will look to challenge us up front. Connacht could have beaten us at Firhill in October and they’ll have targeted this game to get them back on the road after their loss to Ulster last week.

“Dougie (Hall) has worked hard to get back and has looked good in training. His return to fitness means competition intensifies for the hooker position where Fergus Thomson has been in fine form.

“Lome (Fa’atau) is a quality international player who has maybe taken a wee while to adapt to the differences between Northern and Southern Hemisphere rugby. But he has a lot to offer and is very much up for Friday’s game.

“Graeme Morrison enjoyed his run-out against Viadana and I’m looking for him and Hendo (Andrew Henderson) to make their mark against Connacht.”

Top Scorers: 2007/08 Magners League – Points: Connacht: Tim Donnelly 72; Glasgow: Dan Parks 43; Tries: Connacht: Robbie Morris 2; Glasgow: James Eddie, Colin Shaw, Sam Pinder, Johnnie Beattie, Bernardo Stortoni, Moray Low, Hefin O’Hare, Andrew Henderson, Lome Fa’atau, Dan Parks 1 each.


December 1, 2001: Connacht 29 Glasgow 34, The Sportsground
October 25, 2002: Glasgow 29 Connacht 7, Hughenden
September 26, 2003: Glasgow 19 Connacht 30, Hughenden
February 28, 2004: Connacht 28 Glasgow 28, The Sportsground
September 4, 2004: Connacht 31 Glasgow 15, The Sportsground
December 17, 2004: Glasgow 35 Connacht 0, Hughenden
November 4, 2005: Glasgow 30 Connacht 15, Hughenden
May 26, 2006: Connacht 33 Glasgow 7, The Sportsground
November 3, 2006: Glasgow 39 Connacht 34, Hughenden
April 13, 2007: Connacht 23 Glasgow 40, The Sportsground
October 5, 2007: Glasgow 16 Connacht 15, Firhill


– Connacht’s only Magners League victory so far this season came on the opening weekend with their defeat of Newport Gwent Dragons at the Sportsground

– Connacht drew their most recent encounter with a Scottish team – a 14-14 stalemate with Edinburgh in Galway on October 26

– Glasgow Warriors have suffered just one reversal in their last seven outings in all competitions – a 33-31 loss at Saracens in the Heineken Cup on November 11

– Glasgow have been beaten just once in their last eight matches against Irish teams since January. They lost 38-20 at Munster on May 12. Glasgow have won the last three matches they have played against Connacht