Connacht head coach Eric Elwood has announced his starting line-up and replacements to face Ulster in Saturday’s RaboDirect PRO12 derby match at the Sportsground (kick-off 5.15pm).
The selected side remains largely unchanged from that which defeated the Newport Gwent Dragons two weeks ago, with just one change to the starting fifteen.
George Naoupu will don the number 8 jersey with John Muldoon moving back to his more regular position of blindside flanker.
The replacements bench sees Johnny O’Connor return to the squad. He has been out of action since fracturing his eye-socket against Leinster on New Year’s Day.
Young centre Eoin Griffin also makes the bench having missed the Dragons match with a knee injury.
Speaking about the selection, the province’s head coach Eric Elwood said: “Looking back on our last two performances we had a very good effort against Munster, just not the result we wanted. We had the same team out against the Dragons and to be fair to the boys they were excellent.
“So, there are not too many changes. In saying that there’s one positional change and it’s great to welcome George back for such an important game.
“He’s been a big player for us all year so that’s a big boost for us. It’s great as well to have Johnny O’Connor and Eoin Griffin back for such an important derby match.”
There are a number of tickets still available for the interprovincial game. They can be purchased from www.connachtrugby.ie or from the Connacht Rugby Offices on College Road, Galway.
CONNACHT (v Ulster): Gavin Duffy (capt); Tiernan O’Halloran, Kyle Tonetti, Henry Fa’afili, Fetu’u Vainikolo; Miah Nikora, Frank Murphy; Brett Wilkinson, Ethienne Reynecke, Ronan Loughney, Michael Swift, Mike McCarthy, John Muldoon, Ray Ofisa, George Naoupu.
Replacements: Adrian Flavin, Denis Buckley, Rodney Ah You, Michael Kearney, Johnny O’Connor, Paul O’Donohoe, Matthew Jarvis, Eoin Griffin.