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Five Changes For Connacht

Five Changes For Connacht

Connacht head coach Eric Elwood has announced his team and replacements to face the Newport Gwent Dragons at the Sportsground on Friday (kick-off 7.30pm).

The province’s starting line-up shows five changes to the side that earned a losing bonus point against Edinburgh last weekend.

In the pack Ray Ofisa comes in at number 8 for the injured George Naoupu. Naoupu came off last weekend with a knee injury and is likely to be out for a number of weeks.

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David Gannon will make his first start since his return to the province. The 6ft 6in second row, who has 55 caps for Connacht from his time in Galway between 2005 and 2008, replaces Michael Swift who is unavailable due to illness.

After making his comeback from injury against the Scarlets two weeks ago, Brett Wilkinson slots in at loosehead prop for his first start of the campaign, with Ronan Loughney providing cover from the bench.

There is a new half-back pairing with Frank Murphy at scrum half and Niall O’Connor at out-half. The 24-year-old former Ulster back scored the winning penalty in the westerners’ victory over the Scarlets and crossed for his first Connacht try against Edinburgh.

Brian Tuohy has been selected on the right wing, replacing Mark McCrea. The flying winger scored two tries in Connacht’s comprehensive 37-8 win over Glasgow Warriors last February.

Tickets for Friday’s game can be purchased from the Connacht Offices at the Sportsground, from www.connachtrugby.ie or from www.ticketmaster.ie.

Supporters are reminded that this will be their last opportunity to purchase Season Tickets, which are the only way to guarantee entry to Connacht’s much-anticipated Heineken Cup games, as well as all their RaboDirect PRO12 home matches.

CONNACHT (v Newport Gwent Dragons): Gavin Duffy (capt); Brian Tuohy, Eoin Griffin, Henry Fa’afili, Tiernan O’Halloran; Niall O’Connor, Frank Murphy; Brett Wilkinson, Ethienne Reynecke, Rodney Ah You, David Gannon, Mike McCarthy, John Muldoon, Johnny O’Connor, Ray Ofisa.

Replacements: Adrian Flavin, Ronan Loughney, Dylan Rogers, Michael Kearney, Thomas Anderson, Paul O’Donohoe, Matthew Jarvis, James Loxton.