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One Change For Connacht

One Change For Connacht

Connacht have made one change to their side ahead of their final away match in the Magners League tomorrow when they take on the Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade (kick-off 7.10pm).

Coach Michael Bradley has chosen Troy Nathan at out-half for his first start for the province after having come off the bench and impressed in two of Connacht’s previous three outings.

New Zealander Nathan has been playing most of his rugby this season for Connemara in AIB League Division Three.

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Otherwise, the Connacht team remains unchanged from that which played Ulster last week.

There are eight players currently on the province’s injury list, including Tim Donnelly (shoulder), John Hearty (hip), Brian McGovern (hamstring), John Lyne (hand), Ray Ofisa (arm), Conor O’Loughlin (shoulder), Michael Swift (kidney) and Aidan Wynne (hamstring).

Meanwhile, it has been announced that Connacht ‘A’ will play Russian side Enisei STM in a friendly at the Sportsground on Tuesday, April 22 (kick-off 7pm).

The Russian side, who finished second in last season’s Firepower Professional Rugby League’, are touring Ireland as part of their pre-season campaign and will also be taking on Leinster ‘A’ as well as Japan.

Based in Krasnoyarsk, where rugby is very popular, Enisei are a fully professional side who boast a host of Russian, Kazakstan and Latvian Internationals.

Among their ranks are several players to watch out for, including their captain and Latvian international scrum half Yuri Baronovs, the 19-year-old Kazakstan full-back Maxim Lifontov, who is reknowned for his goal kicking ability, and Russian international hooker Roman Romak.

Last season saw them take part in a very successful tour of France where they played several second division sides.

Connacht CEO Gerry Kelly is delighted to be welcoming a Russian side to the Sportsground for the first time and sees the match as a chance for Connacht supporters to see an entirely different style of rugby being played.

“We’re delighted to be expanding our frontiers in welcoming the first Russian side to play at the Sportsground,” he said.

“We know they’re very experienced and it’ll be a great opportunity for some of our younger players to play a team with a different style of rugby.”

Tickets for the match will be available at the gate on the night for 10 euro, with OAPs/students/children costing 5 euro.

Season ticket holders can use Reserved Ticket No. 3 at the back of the booklet with Matt Mostyn in the green Connacht jersey.

CONNACHT (v Newport Gwent Dragons): Gavin Duffy; Matt Mostyn, Mel Deane, Keith Matthews, Danny Riordan; Troy Nathan, Conor McPhillips; Brett Wilkinson, Adrian Flavin, Robbie Morris, David Gannon, Andrew Farley (capt), John Muldoon, Johnny O’Connor, Colm Rigney.

Replacements: John Fogarty, Ronan Loughney, Andrew Browne, Liam Casserly, Robbie Shaw, Andy Dunne, Darren Yapp.