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Riordan And Browne Get The Nod For Connacht

Riordan And Browne Get The Nod For Connacht

Connacht coach Michael Bradley has made two changes to his side for Saturday’s European Challenge Cup Pool 1 clash with Rugby Rovigo at Stadio Mario Battaglini (kick-off 3pm local time/2pm Irish time).

Danny Riordan comes into the back-line for the injured Mel Deane, while in the forwards Andrew Browne has been drafted in for Colm Rigney, who has also been ruled out through injury.

Riordan impressed last weekend for Buccaneers, scoring two tries in their AIB League Division One win over Dungannon.

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In the injury-enforced absence of John Muldoon, Gavin Duffy will captain Connacht once again.

Duffy started at full-back in last Friday’s 53-13 Magners League defeat to Ulster but has been moved to outside centre for the trip to Rovigo, with Fionn Carr reverting to full-back.

As well as Deane and Muldoon, Connacht have Liam Bibo (hamstring), Andy Dunne (knee), Joe Merrigan (knee), Conor Muldoon (hamstring), Colm Rigney (knee), Mike Roberts (calf) and Niva Ta’auso (arm) on a lengthy injury list.

Connacht will be hoping to get back to winning ways this weekend after leaking seven tries at Ravenhill. They are currently second in European Challenge Cup Pool 1, six points behind leaders London Irish.

This will be the westerners’ second European meeting with Rovigo. They beat the Italian Super 10 side 21-20 on their last visit to the Stadio Mario Battaglini in October 1998.

Rovigo are currently fourth in the Italian championship and their recent run of results includes a 24-23 success over second-placed Viadana.

CONNACHT (v Rugby Rovigo): Fionn Carr; Troy Nathan, Gavin Duffy (capt), Keith Matthews, Danny Riordan; Ian Keatley, Frank Murphy; Brett Wilkinson, Sean Cronin, Robbie Morris, Andrew Browne, Andrew Farley, Michael McCarthy, Johnny O’Connor, Ray Ofisa.

Replacements: Adrian Flavin, Ronan Loughney, Michael Swift, David Gannon, Kieran Campbell, Tim Donnelly, John Hearty.