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Parks Returns As Connacht Make Three Changes

Parks Returns As Connacht Make Three Changes

Connacht head coach Eric Elwood has named his team to face Italian side Zebre in Friday’s Heineken Cup round 6 match at the Sportsground (kick-off 8pm).

Eric Elwood has made three personnel changes to the starting line-up following last weekend’s defeat to pool leaders Harlequins in London.

Out-half Dan Parks, who missed the round 5 outing due to injury, resumes his half-back partnership with Kieran Marmion.

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There are no further changes to the back-line with Robbie Henshaw, who today received a call-up to the extended Ireland squad, named at full-back.

Also called up to train with the national squad next week was David McSharry, who will start at outside centre against Zebre alongside Eoin Griffin.

Tiernan O’Halloran, who is set to earn his 50th cap for the province, starts on the right wing while Fetu’u Vainikolo will hope to threaten on the other wing.

Up front, Denis Buckley, who is rested this week due to injury, makes way for Brett Wilkinson at loosehead prop.

Eoin McKeon has failed to shake off the ankle injury he picked up last weekend. And with George Naoupu still sidelined, Andrew Browne will move to the number 8 position with Michael Kearney named at blindside flanker.

On the bench, forwards JP Cooney and David Gannon, who were on British & Irish Cup duty last week, join the 23-man squad. Danie Poolman, on his recovery from injury, joins Paul O’Donohoe and Miah Nikora in the replacement backs.

CONNACHT (v Zebre): Robbie Henshaw; Tiernan O’Halloran, Eoin Griffin, David McSharry, Fetu’u Vainikolo; Dan Parks, Kieran Marmion; Brett Wilkinson, Jason Harris-Wright, Nathan White (capt), Michael Swift, Mike McCarthy, Michael Kearney, Johnny O’Connor, Andrew Browne.

Replacements: Ethienne Reynecke, JP Cooney, Ronan Loughney, David Gannon, Eoghan Grace, Paul O’Donohoe, Miah Nikora, Danie Poolman.