Eric Elwood’s starting line-up for Friday’s RaboDirect PRO12 encounter with Glasgow shows eight changes to the team that ran out against the Scarlets last weekend.
In the backs, Mark McCrea and James Loxton replace Fetu’u Vainikolo and Tiernan O’Halloran on the wings respectively, with Matthew Jarvis coming in at out-half for Miah Nikora, who takes a well-deserved break.
The 19-year-old Robbie Henshaw gets his first start for the province after making an appearance and notable impact from the bench in all three RaboDirect PRO12 games so far. Henshaw takes over at inside centre from Eoin Griffin, who is resting an ankle injury.
David McSharry, who in superb fashion burst back onto the scene last Saturday against the Scarlets, will be Henshaw’s partner in a young, new-look centre combination…
Up front, meanwhile, hooker Adrian Flavin, who made his 100th league appearance last time out, replaces Ethienne Reynecke. He is joined in the front row by Brett Wilkinson and recent debutant Nathan White.
George Naoupu started at number 8 against the Cardiff Blues and Zebre but on Friday he will link up in the second row with David Gannon, who is set for his first start after three consecutive weeks of replacement appearances.
Willie Faloon, who made an impressive full debut for Connacht last weekend, continues in an all-new back row trio which sees Johnny O’Connor move from openside to blindside flanker
On the bench, Michael Swift takes a well-earned rest for this match while Academy members Kevin O’Byrne and Jack Carty are in line for their first action of the campaign, with both players having been included among the replacements.
CONNACHT (v Glasgow Warriors): Gavin Duffy (capt); James Loxton, Robbie Henshaw, David McSharry, Mark McCrea; Matthew Jarvis, Kieran Marmion; Brett Wilkinson, Adrian Flavin, Nathan White, George Naoupu, David Gannon, Johnny O’Connor, Willie Faloon, Eoin McKeon.
Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, Denis Buckley, Rodney Ah You, Michael Swift, Michael Kearney, David Moore, Jack Carty, Mata Fifita.