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Grace Included In Connacht Side

Grace Included In Connacht Side

Connacht head coach Eric Elwood has announced the starting line-up to face Glasgow Warriors in Saturday’s RaboDirect PRO12 match at the Sportsground (kick-off 5.30pm).

Eric Elwood has made two changes to the team that lost in Cardiff last time out, with flanker Ray Ofisa unavailable due to the knee injury he sustained in that bonus point defeat.

Eoghan Grace claims the number 7 jersey in his absence. The young openside earned his first Connacht cap against Ulster at Ravenhill earlier this season after joining Connacht from Exeter Chiefs last summer.

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In a second alteration, Henry Fa’afili will start at inside centre in place of David McSharry. Eoin Griffin has been added to the replacements bench.

Though Grace has been missing for large parts the season through injury, he has impressed the province’s management with some outstanding performances for Buccaneers in recent weeks.

Speaking about his call-up, Grace said: “I’m delighted to be selected, it’s been a real rollercoaster of a year so to be given the opportunity to start in front of the home crowd is a huge boost.

“I had a good run at it up in Ulster and it was a huge experience, but I’m really looking forward to the Sportsground crowd this weekend.

“I’m just looking forward to getting stuck in and doing my best. We know what’s ahead of us but we also know that past results have gone our way so there’s a bit of confidence in the squad.”

Connacht Rugby will hold a minute’s silence before the game for former colleague David O’Hara who passed away tragically earlier this week.

O’Hara was a club Community Rugby Officer who worked with the An Ghaeltacht and Oughterard clubs and was also a popular member of Galwegians RFC, playing regularly for their junior and senior sides.

CONNACHT (v Glasgow Warriors): Gavin Duffy (capt); Fetu’u Vainikolo, Kyle Tonetti, Henry Fa’afili, Tiernan O’Halloran; Niall O’Connor, Paul O’Donohoe; Brett Wilkinson, Adrian Flavin, Ronan Loughney, Michael Swift, Mike McCarthy, John Muldoon, Eoghan Grace, George Naoupu.

Replacements: Ethienne Reynecke, Denis Buckley, Stewart Maguire, David Gannon, Michael Kearney, David Moore, Matthew Jarvis, Eoin Griffin.