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Magners Preview: Glasgow Warriors v Connacht

Magners Preview: Glasgow Warriors v Connacht

Connacht will be gunning for their third straight win over Glasgow Warriors as Michael Bradley’s charges head to Firhill for their final game of the season. Australian-born second row Andrew Farley will be hoping to put in a big performance in his 154th and final game for the province.

MAGNERS LEAGUE: Friday, May 15

GLASGOW WARRIORS v CONNACHT, Firhill Arena, 7.45pm (live Setanta Sports 1)

Team News: Four of the five Connacht players named in the Ireland squad to tour Canada and the USA have been included in the westerners’ starting line-up for their Magners League meeting with Glasgow Warriors.

Connacht coach Michael Bradley has made one change for their final Magners League game of the season.

Hooker Adrian Flavin will start with Sean Cronin, one of five Connacht players this week called into the Ireland squad for the summer tour to Canada and the USA, reverting to the replacements bench.

Centres Gavin Duffy and Keith Matthews, out-half Ian Keatley and number 8 and team captain John Muldoon, who will all start Friday’s game, are the other Connacht players in the Irish touring party.

Academy player Conor Higgins, a promising 20-year-old prop from Shannonbridge in Offaly, has also been included amongst the replacements for the trip to Scotland.

Meanwhile, Glasgow Warriors coach Sean Lineen has confirmed his side to face Connacht in the final game of the 2008/09 Magners League campaign.

With the injured Max Evans ruled out in the centre, versatile back Hefin O’Hare steps up to the plate.

Evans’ younger brother Thom has pulled out having suffered a minor calf tweak during training. He has been replaced by Scotland Sevens team-mate Colin Shaw. Colin Gregor has also been promoted to the scrum half berth.

In the pack, prop Kevin Tkachuk is preferred to Jon Welsh and young lock Richie Gray has been handed his first start on home soil.

James Eddie returns in place of Opeta Palepoi at blindside flanker and Kelly Brown switches with Calum Forrester to line up at openside and number 8 respectively.

GLASGOW WARRIORS: Bernardo Stortoni; Lome Fa’atau, Hefin O’Hare, Graeme Morrison, Colin Shaw; Ruaridh Jackson, Colin Gregor; Kevin Tkachuk, Fergus Thomson, Moray Low, Richie Gray, Alastair Kellock (capt), James Eddie, Kelly Brown, Calum Forrester.

Replacements: Pat MacArthur, Jon Welsh, Dan Turner, Stevie Swindall, Mark McMillan, Peter Horne, Jose Maria Nunez Piossek.

CONNACHT: Troy Nathan; Fionn Carr, Gavin Duffy, Keith Matthews, Liam Bibo; Ian Keatley, Frank Murphy; Brett Wilkinson, Adrian Flavin, Ronan Loughney, Michael Swift, Andrew Farley, Andrew Browne, Ray Ofisa, John Muldoon (capt).

Replacements: Sean Cronin, Conor Higgins, David Gannon, Colm Rigney, Conor O’Loughlin, Andy Dunne, Mel Deane.

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Andy Ireland, Bob Nevins (both Scotland)
Television Match Official: Jim Yuille (Scotland)

Match Odds (Paddy Power): Glasgow Warriors to win: 1/8; Draw: 22/1; Connacht to win: 5/1

Say What: Sean Lineen (Glasgow Warriors) – “For us this is the biggest game of the season and it’s important we finish this season with a win in front of a home crowd.

“Looking to the future, I’m really excited by the young players coming through and the attitude and enthusiasm they’ve brought to the squad.”

Top Scorers: 2008/09 Magners League – Points: Glasgow Warriors: Dan Parks 117; Connacht: Ian Keatley 115; Tries: Glasgow Warriors: Thom Evans 9; Connacht: Fionn Carr 8


Friday, May 26, 2006 – Connacht 33 Glasgow Warriors 7, The Sportsground
Friday, November 3, 2006 – Glasgow Warriors 39 Connacht 34, Hughenden
Friday, April 13, 2007 – Connacht 23 Glasgow Warriors 40, The Sportsground
Friday, October 5, 2007 – Glasgow Warriors 16 Connacht 15, Firhill Arena
Friday, November 30, 2007 – Connacht 10 Glasgow Warriors 6, The Sportsground
Friday, September 19, 2008 – Connacht 15 Glasgow Warriors 8, The Sportsground


– Glasgow Warriors have won just one of their last seven matches in the Magners League, a 38-21 victory at the Scarlets on April 4

– The Warriors’ only victory over Irish opposition this season was a 15-12 triumph at home to Leinster on October 24

– Connacht have won only one of their last eight matches in all competitions. That was a 39-17 win at home to the Newport Gwent Dragons on April 3

– The westerners are winless on the road in the Magners League this season and they have not tasted victory in Scotland since a trip to Border Reivers on September 1, 2006

– Connacht have won their last two games against Glasgow, but the Warriors won this equivalent fixture last season at Firhill (16-15)

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