Connacht head coach Eric Elwood has announced his team to face the Ospreys in Friday’s RaboDirect PRO12 match at the Sportsground (kick-off 7.45pm).
The westerners welcome the defending champions, the Ospreys, to Galway and Eric Elwood has made just three personnel changes to the starting line-up
Robbie Henshaw, who earned his first Ireland Under-20 cap last Friday, returns to full-back. The 19-year-old was instrumental in Ireland’s dramatic one-point Six Nations victory over England in his home town of Athlone.
Tiernan O’Halloran, who covered the full-back position for Connacht in Llanelli, now returns to the right wing. Try scorer Danie Poolman replaces Fetu’u Vainikolo on the left wing, completing the youthful and fleet-footed back-three.
A strong performance in Wales in his first game back from injury sees Kyle Tonetti retain the number 12 shirt. He links up with Eoin Griffin again in the centre.
Meanwhile, the front five in the pack remains unchanged with prop Nathan While captaining the side against the Welsh region.
Recent returnees John Muldoon and Willie Faloon were introduced as replacements against the Scarlets last Friday night. This week, they both start in the back row, replacing Andrew Browne and Johnny O’Connor respectively.
Gavin Duffy, the province’s regular captain, is named among the replacements and will make his 150th appearance for Connacht if he is sprung from the bench.
CONNACHT (v Ospreys): Robbie Henshaw; Tiernan O’Halloran, Eoin Griffin, Kyle Tonetti, Danie Poolman; Dan Parks, Kieran Marmion; Brett Wilkinson, Jason Harris-Wright, Nathan White (capt), Michael Swift, Michael Kearney, John Muldoon, Willie Faloon, Eoin McKeon.
Replacements: Ethienne Reynecke, Rodney Ah You, Ronan Loughney, Andrew Browne, Johnny O’Connor, Paul O’Donohoe, Miah Nikora, Gavin Duffy.