The Connacht squad to play Worcester at the Sportsground on Friday evening (7pm) in the Amlin Challenge Cup shows two changes from the one initially selected for last weekend’s Pool 2 encounter at Sixways Stadium.
Experienced scrum half Kieran Campbell comes in for the injured Conor O’Loughlin while hooker Adrian Flavin, who was forced to withdraw from the selected squad last weekend due to illness, returns in place of Dermot Murphy.
Meanwhile, Connacht coach Michael Bradley has warned his players against complacency despite their position at the top of the Amlin Challenge Cup Pool 2 standings.
The westerners produced an impressive performance to beat 2008 Challenge Cup finalists Worcester Warriors 26-21 at Sixways last Saturday as they made it three wins from three in this season’s competition.
But Bradley has since told his squad that they are only halfway to reaching the quarter-final stages and that their job is far from done.
“It is only half-time in this battle with Worcester. It was great to go over there and win, but it would be a shame to undo all that work and lose to them in the Sportsground,” he said.
“It was a big victory for us and gives us a great chance to make the quarter-finals. We have won three from three, but there are still three games to be played and we can’t afford to take our eye off the ball.”
The Worcester success represented Connacht’s first win in England in 12 years and, despite his cautious approach to Friday’s rematch, Bradley was delighted with the manner in which his side performed.
“We were very pleased with the win and I think we looked comfortable throughout and grew in strength as the game progressed,” added the former Ireland scrum half.
“We have not always got the bounce of the ball, but we did in this one and we made good use of any breaks we got.
“We used our possession well and discipline was very good, especially in the closing quarter when they were attacking and we were holding on to a two-point lead. The application was excellent at that point.”
Connacht currently lead second-placed Montpellier by three points, having already beaten the French side away from home.
They face Worcester in Galway on Friday night before hosting Montpellier in mid-January and Olympus Rugby Madrid a week later in their final Pool 2 tie.
CONNACHT Squad (v Worcester Warriors) – Backs (10): Liam Bibo, Fionn Carr, Gavin Duffy, Ian Keatley, Frank Murphy, Troy Nathan, Miah Nikora, Kieran Campbell, Niva Ta’auso, Aidan Wynne.
Forwards (13): Sean Cronin, Adrian Flavin, Jamie Hagan, Ronan Loughney, Mike McCarthy, Mike McComish, Robbie Morris, John Muldoon (capt), George Naoupu, Ray Ofisa, Michael Swift, Bernie Upton, Brett Wilkinson.