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Night Of Farewells For Connacht

Night Of Farewells For Connacht

Connacht take on Glasgow Warriors at the Sportsground on Friday night (kick-off 7.45pm) and head coach Eric Elwood has named a side that sees Johnny O’Connor start in the number 7 jersey one last time.

Johnny O’Connor will retire from rugby after the round 22 fixture against Glasgow, which is his 146th senior appearance for the province.

The 33-year-old flanker represents the only personnel change to the forwards from the team which drew with Benetton Treviso last weekend. He is joined in the back row by Andrew Browne and Eoin McKeon, who moves to number 8.

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Friday night also marks the last outing in a green jersey for lock Mike McCarthy. The 31-year-old will complete his Connacht career with a total of 154 senior caps.

On his return from injury, the 22-year-old Eoin Griffin is named at outside centre for the last game of the 2012/13 season. This change sees the westerners’ top try scorer this season, Danie Poolman, move on to the right wing.

On the bench, Adrian Flavin is named as replacement hooker and is in line to make his 142nd and final appearance for Connacht – his team for the last seven years.

Connacht currently occupy eighth place in the RaboDirect PRO12 table, and while a win over the Scottish side would equal the best ever finish achieved last year, it would also mean a record number of league victories to go with a best away record so far.

It is all happening at the Sportsground on Friday as Connacht also celebrate Eric Elwood’s last ever game as head coach. To find out more on the activities planned, click here.

Tickets are selling fast so do not miss out on this special event and come up to the Sportsground to bid farewell to Eric and the departing players. Tickets are available from the Connacht Rugby offices and Ticketmaster.ie.

CONNACHT (v Glasgow Warriors): Gavin Duffy (capt); Danie Poolman, Eoin Griffin, Brian Murphy, Fetu’u Vainikolo; Dan Parks, Kieran Marmion; Brett Wilkinson, Ethienne Reynecke, Ronan Loughney, Michael Swift, Mike McCarthy, Andrew Browne, Johnny O’Connor, Eoin McKeon.

Replacements: Adrian Flavin, Rodney Ah You, JP Cooney, Michael Kearney, John Muldoon, Mata Fifita, Paul O’Donohoe, Miah Nikora.