Three players will make their competitive debuts for Connacht when they open their Magners League campaign against the Ospreys at the Sportsground on Friday evening (kick-off 7pm).
Brian Tuohy will start on the right wing, Bernie Upton is in the second row and Mike McComish is selected at number 8 for Connacht’s opening game of the Magners League season.
Two more new players, prop Jamie Hagan and out-half Miah Nikora, have been included among the replacements.
Speaking ahead of the game, Connacht captain John Muldoon said: “We’ve had three pre-season games and I think we used 30 or so players in total in those games, which is what pre-season is all about – getting guys on the pitch and getting the new guys bedded in.
“Since the fixtures were released, everything has been geared towards the Ospreys game, and that is what we have been focused on for the last couple of weeks.
“At this stage we can’t wait to get out on the pitch and get a crack at them.”
CONNACHT (v Ospreys): Gavin Duffy; Brian Tuohy, Niva Ta’auso, Keith Matthews, Fionn Carr; Ian Keatley, Frank Murphy; Brett Wilkinson, Sean Cronin, Robbie Morris, Andrew Browne, Bernie Upton, John Muldoon (capt), Ray Ofisa, Mike McComish.
Replacements: Adrian Flavin, Jamie Hagan, Michael Swift, Johnny O’Connor, Conor O’Loughlin, Miah Nikora, Troy Nathan.