John Muldoon has been released by the Ireland management in order for him to get some game-time in Connacht’s friendly match against the touring Samoan side at the Sportsground tonight (kick-off 7.05pm).
Connacht have made one change to the matchday squad they originally named to face Samoa tonight at the Sportsground.
Regular captain John Muldoon comes in for Mike McCarthy on the replacements bench.
Connacht head Eric Elwood will test his squad’s strength in depth and give a number of young players a chance to impress ahead of next week’s Magners League encounter with defending champions, the Ospreys.
The Samoa squad announced for the Galway clash includes former Connacht centre Gavin Williams on the replacements bench.
The tourists’ starting line-up is bolstered by Hawke’s Bay winger Sinoti Sinoti, Clermont Auvergne hooker Ti’i Paulo and Wasps lock/flanker Daniel Leo.
Samoa will be hoping to improve on their last visit to the Sportsground back in 1998 when they lost 25-18 to a Connacht side captained by Tom Clancy.
CONNACHT: Troy Nathan; Shane Monahan, Eoin Griffin, Aidan Wynne, Brian Tuohy; Miah Nikora, Cillian Willis; Ronan Loughney, Adrian Flavin (capt), Barry Fa’amausili, Andrew Browne, Bernie Upton, Eoin McKeon, Mike McComish, Ezra Taylor.
Replacements: Dermot Murphy, Rob Sweeney, Dylan Rogers, John Muldoon, Shane Conneely, Conor O’Loughlin, Darragh Fanning.
SAMOA: Mikaele Pesamino; Fautua Otto, Uarotafou Setu, Jamie Helleur, Sinoti Sinoti; Lolo Lui (capt), Junior Poluleluligaga; Simon Lemalu, Ti’i Paulo, Logovii Mulipola, Chad Slade, Daniel Leo, Misioka Timoteo, Falemiga Selesele, Richard Muagututia.
Replacements: Mahonri Schwalger, Naama Leleimalefaga, Filipo Levi, Afa Aiono, Uale Mai, Brando Vaaulu, Gavin Williams.
Referee: John Lacey (IRFU)
Assistant Referees: Dudley Phillips, Michael Black (both IRFU)
Television Match Official: Dermot Moloney (IRFU)
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