Connacht head coach Eric Elwood has announced his team to take on an Ireland Select XV in Thursday’s pre-season match at Donnybrook (kick-off 6.30pm).
The selected team sees just three changes to the side that started last weekend’s 47-10 defeat to the Exeter Chiefs at Dubarry Park.
Adrian Flavin starts at hooker, Ireland Under-20 lock Michael Kearney replacing the injured Dave Nolan and John Muldoon, who was capped at senior level by Ireland last year, returns to captain Connacht from the back row.
The back-line remains unchanged with Paul O’Donohoe and Niall O’Connor forming the half-back partnership, Samoan Henry Fa’afili and Eoin Griffin teaming up in the centre and Brian Tuohy, Mark McCrea and Tiernan O’Halloran completing the back-three.
The province’s head coach Eric Elwood said: “This will a be a huge test for us, we’re up against a strong Ireland side with players vying for World Cup places, so it’s a great opportunity for our players to test themselves at this level.
“From our perspective, we’re looking for an 80-minute performance and improvements in key areas from last weekend’s game against Exeter.”
Tickets for the match are available at the gate and cost just €;10 for adults and €;5 for students and OAPs.
CONNACHT (v Ireland Select XV): Tiernan O’Halloran; Mark McCrea, Eoin Griffin, Henry Fa’afili, Brian Tuohy; Niall O’Connor, Paul O’Donohoe; Dylan Rogers, Adrian Flavin, Rodney Ah You, Michael Swift, Michael Kearney, John Muldoon (capt), Ray Ofisa, George Naoupu.
Replacements: Ethienne Reynecke, Denis Buckley, Johnny O’Connor, Thomas Anderson, David Moore, Matthew Jarvis, James Loxton.