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Connacht Unchanged For Interpro Derby

Connacht Unchanged For Interpro Derby

Connacht welcome RaboDirect PRO12 leaders Ulster to the Sportsground on Friday night (kick-off 7:45pm) and head coach Eric Elwood has finalised his team for the match.

There are no changes to the Connacht side that defeated Edinburgh 32-24 at Murrayfield last weekend.

Brett Wilkinson, Adrian Flavin and Ronan Loughney make up the front row trio with a total tally of 429 Connacht caps between them.

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The 21-year-old Kieran Marmion, who has started every game for the province this season, remains in the half-back pairing with Dan Parks.

March’s Player of the Month Brian Murphy is named at inside centre for his fifth Connacht start of the campaign.

Previewing the interprovincial encounter in Galway,  the westerners’ head coach Eric Elwood said: “We were obviously happy with last week’s win against Edinburgh. It was a very good victory for us but we’re not getting carried away.

“It will mean nothing if we can’t back it up and have consistency now in this derby match against Ulster.

“We have a point to prove in that were ‘nilled’ up in Belfast and that’s a big incentive. We were disappointed with our away performances in the derby fixtures, so we have another opportunity for four points here.

“We’re looking forward to a physical contest. You can’t shy away from the physicality. You have to be able to go toe-to-toe up front with Ulster and you have to be able to control the breakdown area, and that’s key for us this weekend.

“We’ll have the extra spice of the derby game at home. They’re looking for top four and we still believe we have a lot to play for with three games to go. So it should be ding dong.”

CONNACHT (v Ulster): Robbie Henshaw; Danie Poolman, Eoin Griffin, Brian Murphy, Gavin Duffy (capt); Dan Parks, Kieran Marmion; Brett Wilkinson, Adrian Flavin, Ronan Loughney, Michael Swift, Mike McCarthy, Michael Kearney, John Muldoon, George Naoupu.

Replacements: Ethienne Reynecke, Rodney Ah You, JP Cooney, Andrew Browne, Mata Fifita, Paul O’Donohoe, Miah Nikora, Fetu’u Vainikolo.