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Connacht Make Changes Up Front

Connacht Make Changes Up Front

Connacht head coach Eric Elwood has finalised his team and replacements for Friday’s RaboDirect PRO12 clash with the Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium (kick-off 7.30pm).

Following last weekend’s home win over the Newport Gwent Dragons, Connacht will field an unchanged back-line with Gavin Duffy captaining the side from full-back, Eoin Griffin and Henry Fa’afili in the centre and Brian Tuohy and Tiernan O’Halloran on the wings.

The half-back pairing of Frank Murphy and Niall O’Connor remains in situ. Paul O’Donohoe and Matthew Jarvis provide cover from the replacements bench along with former Cardiff Blues winger James Loxton.

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A change in the front row sees Dylan Rogers replace Rodney Ah You at tighthead prop. Stewart Maguire covers that position from the bench.

Michael Swift has recovered from the illness that ruled him out of contention last week and returns to the starting line-up, while Dave Gannon drops to the bench.

The other change in the pack sees Thomas Anderson making his first competitive start for the province at blindside flanker.

The 28-year-old Magherafelt-born forward will take over from Ray Ofisa. Brett Wilkinson and Ethienne Reynecke join Rogers in the front row, while Mike McCarthy and Swift will combine in the second row.

Connacht will be hoping to build on their comeback victory over the Dragons. With three wins from their opening four league games, the westerners currently sit in third position and a rare away win over the Ospreys would see them leapfrog the Welsh region into second.

CONNACHT (v Ospreys): Gavin Duffy (capt); Brian Tuohy, Eoin Griffin, Henry Fa’afili, Tiernan O’Halloran; Niall O’Connor, Frank Murphy; Brett Wilkinson, Ethienne Reynecke, Dylan Rogers, Michael Swift, Mike McCarthy, Thomas Anderson, Johnny O’Connor, John Muldoon.

Replacements: Adrian Flavin, Ronan Loughney, Stewart Maguire, Dave Gannon, Ray Ofisa, Paul O’Donohoe, Matthew Jarvis, James Loxton.