Connacht have announced a 28-man squad ahead of their Magners League derby clash with Munster at the Sportsground on Friday (kick-off 7.30pm).
Out-half Andy Dunne has been recalled to the squad as have three-quarters Liam Bibo and Darren Yapp. In the forwards, hooker John Fogarty is recalled as well as the Galwegians pairing of Brian McGovern and Liam Casserly.
Connacht coach Michael Bradley is wary of the threat which Munster will pose at the Sportsground but is confident that his side can overcome the former Heineken Cup winners, in a match which has had some very tight outcomes in the last few seasons.
So far this season Connacht supporters have come out in record numbers and Bradley is well aware of the advantage his side will have in front of their home support.
“Connacht always look forward to the home derby matches in particular because the Sportsground sells out and the crowd get behind the team, which seems to raise our performances in those matches,” he said.
“Obviously we have to do that with Munster on a bit of a charge at the moment in trying to catch Leinster at the top of the Magners League.”
With 23 of their points coming from their backs last week, Munster have arguably their strongest back-line for a number of years, however Bradley is just as keen to address Munster’s strengths up front.
“Munster tend to play a forward orientated game which will represent a different challenge to what Edinburgh offered us last week,” he added.
“Our first job is to contend with their power up front, once that’s done I’m quite confident with home advantage and the closeness of previous games, if we create enough opportunities we’ll have a good chance of winning the game.”
The players unavailable to Bradley and his management team currently are Tim Donnelly (shoulder), John Hearty (hip), Ray Ofisa (arm), Michael Swift (kidney), Ofisa Treviranus (leg) and Aidan Wynne (hamstring).
CONNACHT Squad (v Munster): Forwards (16) – Andrew Browne, Liam Casserly, Andrew Farley (capt), Adrian Flavin, John Fogarty, David Gannon, Ronan Loughney, John Lyne, Michael McCarthy, Brian McGovern, Joe Merrigan, Robbie Morris, John Muldoon, Johnny O’Connor, Colm Rigney, Brett Wilkinson.
Backs (12) – Liam Bibo, Mel Deane, Gavin Duffy, Andy Dunne, Peter Durcan, Keith Matthews, Conor McPhillips, Matt Mostyn, Troy Nathan, Conor O’Loughlin, Daniel Riordan, Darren Yapp.