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Connacht Select Team For Scarlets Tie

Connacht Select Team For Scarlets Tie

Connacht head coach Eric Elwood has announced his starting line-up to face the Scarlets at the Sportsground on Saturday (kick-off 7.35pm).

The Connacht team for the televised clash remains largely similar to the side that beat I Cavalieri Estra in Galway two weeks ago.

With Sean Cronin on Ireland duty, Adrian Flavin will start at hooker. The former Ireland Under-19 and Under-21 forward has just signed a two-year deal to stay with Connacht.

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The only other change in the starting pack sees Johnny O’Connor return from injury to captain the side, replacing Shane Conneely at openside flanker.

In the back-line, Troy Nathan comes in for Keith Matthews at inside centre, with Ian Keatley and Frank Murphy named as the starting half-backs.

Ahead of Connacht’s return to Magners League action, head coach Eric Elwood said: “The team is doing a lot of good stuff. We are competitive, ahead on tries scored and points against – all those are positives, so we are going in the right direction, but unfortunately the league table doesn’t reflect that in terms of points for and against.

“Obviously we are not happy where we are – second last place in the table – albeit we have been a lot more competitive as reflected in our bonus points.

“However, we believe in what we are doing and that the results will come sooner rather than later. As a result the next 10 games are vital to us, starting with the Scarlets.

“There is history with the games we have left – we lost narrowly to Scarlets, won against the Warriors, and narrowly lost to the Ospreys – so now we have an opportunity to turn those teams over.”

The westerners have been boosted this week with the re-signing of hooker Flavin, lock Michael Swift and flanker Ray Ofisa, who have all penned contract extensions with the province.

CONNACHT (v Scarlets): Gavin Duffy; Brian Tuohy, Niva Ta’auso, Troy Nathan, Fionn Carr; Ian Keatley, Frank Murphy; Brett Wilkinson, Adrian Flavin, Jamie Hagan, Michael Swift, Mike McCarthy, Andrew Browne, Johnny O’Connor (capt), Mike McComish.

Replacements: Dermot Murphy, Dylan Rogers, Rodney Ah You, Bernie Upton, Ray Ofisa, Cillian Willis, Miah Nikora, Shane Monahan.