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Duffy Returns To Captain Connacht

Duffy Returns To Captain Connacht

The Connacht team to face the Newport Gwent Dragons in Friday evening’s RaboDirect PRO12 clash at Rodney Parade (kick-off 7pm) has been named.

There are just three changes to the team that beat Benetton Treviso 18-3 in in the last round of league matches.

Team captain Gavin Duffy makes a welcome return to the Connacht starting line-up this week, lining out on the left wing.

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The Mayo man, who was unavailable for a number of weeks due to a hamstring injury, came on as a replacement against Treviso and touched down for a try just moments after being introduced.

There are no further changes to the province’s back-line. Danie Poolman, in his third outing for the westerners, joins David McSharry in the centre and Tiernan O’Halloran is named on the right wing.

Meanwhile, up front there are two changes to the pack with Michael Kearney replacing Mike McCarthy who remains on international duty this week.

Kearney is joined in the second row by Michael Swift, who will be making his 229th senior appearance for the Connacht men.

On the bench, hooker Ethienne Reynecke is named among the front row replacements following his return to training this week.

Flying winger Matt Healy could earn his first cap for the province in Newport. The 23-year-old joined the province this season from Ulster Bank League club Lansdowne and has made a notable impression with the Connacht Eagles.

CONNACHT (v Newport Gwent Dragons): Robbie Henshaw; Tiernan O’Halloran, Danie Poolman, David McSharry, Gavin Duffy (capt); Dan Parks, Kieran Marmion; Denis Buckley, Jason Harris-Wright, Nathan White, Michael Swift, Michael Kearney, Andrew Browne, Willie Faloon, Eoin McKeon.

Replacements: Ethienne Reynecke, Rodney Ah You, Ronan Loughney, David Gannon, Johnny O’Connor, David Moore, Miah Nikora, Matt Healy.