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Connacht Name Team For Scarlets Clash

Connacht Name Team For Scarlets Clash

Connacht coach Eric Elwood has selected his starting line-up to take on the Scarlets in Saturday’s Magners League match in Llanelli (kick-off 3pm).

The Connacht team remains largely unchanged from the side that secured a 40-17 bonus point win over the Newport Gwent Dragons last weekend, with Mike McComish starting in place of injured Ezra Taylor.

Taylor underwent scans on his knee injury during the week and is awaiting the results to determine the extent of the injury.

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Scrum half Frank Murphy retains the captaincy in the absence of the injured John Muldoon, with the tried and tested partnership of Michael Swift and Bernie Upton offering plenty of choice at lineout time.

Murphy’s half-back partner Ian Keatley will hope to add to his 25-point tally from the Dragons game (a try, four conversions and four penalties).

Last week he became the top Connacht points scorer in a single Magners League match, overtaking Paul Warrick’s total of 21 against the Scarlets in 2006.

With his side facing into away trips to Llanelli and Glasgow, head coach Eric Elwood said: “We have a massive challenge over the next two weeks.

“Our away form is well documented and that’s the challenge going forward – to become competitive away from home and give a good account of ourselves.

“With the record we have had over there, they would fancy themselves to win and win with five points. Conversely we are looking to improve our away form, and that’s the way we are going to approach it.

“Last week we were all uptight, with it being the first game and at home. We would have targeted that match, so to get the victory and the bonus point, we are ecstatic.

“The key for us on Saturday is that we need to be in the game. We are looking to put the pressure on the Scarlets and bring our game to them.

“There is a new mentality, and we are going out to win this game, but we have to be competitive and in the game first of all. If we do that, then we would fancy our chances.”

CONNACHT (v Scarlets): Gavin Duffy; Troy Nathan, Niva Ta’auso, Keith Matthews, Fionn Carr; Ian Keatley, Frank Murphy (capt); Brett Wilkinson, Sean Cronin, Jamie Hagan, Michael Swift, Bernie Upton, Michael McCarthy, Ray Ofisa, Mike McComish.

Replacements: Adrian Flavin, Ronan Loughney, Rob Sweeney, Dave Nolan, Shane Conneely, Cillian Willis, Miah Nikora, Tiernan O’Halloran.