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Newcomer Poolman To Start For Connacht

Newcomer Poolman To Start For Connacht

Danie Poolman will make his first start for Connacht after being named at outside centre for the RaboDirect PRO12 encounter with Benetton Treviso at the Sportsground on Saturday (kick-off 5pm).

Danie Poolman is one of six personnel changes to the team that started against the Ospreys last weekend, with four of those in the pack.

Denis Buckley returns to the starting line-up at loosehead prop while Mike McCarthy, on his release from the Irish camp, joins Michael Swift in the second row.

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Fit-again flanker Andrew Browne was back to full training this week and will link up with Johnny O’Connor and Eoin McKeon in the westerners’ back row.

The half-back pairing of Kieran Marmion and Dan Parks remains unchanged, while David McSharry will start alongside South African Poolman in midfield.

Robbie Henshaw resumes his full-back role for the clash with the Italian side, with fit-again captain Gavin Duffy making a welcome return to the matchday squad on the bench.

This is Connacht’s first home league match since the fantastic 34-6 win over Leinster in September and head coach Eric Elwood is looking for a repeat of that display against Benetton Treviso.

“It has become a ‘must win’ game for us and it is well within our range. We just need to cut out some of the errors and capitalise on the chances we are creating,” he said.

“It has been a busy period but there is a break (for the November internationaals) coming up and we need to go into that with a win under our belts.”

CONNACHT (v Benetton Treviso): Robbie Henshaw; Tiernan O’Halloran, Danie Poolman, David McSharry, Fetu’u Vainikolo; Dan Parks, Kieran Marmion; Denis Buckley, Jason Harris-Wright, Nathan White (capt), Michael Swift, Mike McCarthy, Andrew Browne, Johnny O’Connor, Eoin McKeon

Replacements: Adrian Flavin, Rodney Ah You, Ronan Loughney, John Muldoon, Michael Kearney, David Moore, Miah Nikora, Gavin Duffy.