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Connacht Include Henshaw And McKeon

Connacht Include Henshaw And McKeon

The Connacht team to face Edinburgh in Friday’s RaboDirect PRO12 match at Murrayfield (kick-off 7.45pm) has been named.

Head coach Pat Lam has made six changes to the Connacht team that lined out against the Scarlets in Galway last weekend.

Ireland international Robbie Henshaw, fresh from his involvement in the GUINNESS Series, returns to the mix and starts at full-back against the Scottish side.

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Henshaw is joined in the back-three by Connacht’s record try scorer Fionn Carr and Matt Healy, who touched down against the Scarlets. Former Scotland international Dan Parks has been named at out-half.

Up front, Ronan Loughney starts at loosehead prop in place of the injured Brett Wilkinson. Michael Kearney has been handed his first start of the season after coming off the bench in the last two PRO12 games. At 6ft 5in, the 22-year-old joins captain Craig Clarke in the second row.

Eoin McKeon returns to the side after missing three months due to injury. The back rower, who played 80 minutes for club side Buccaneers last weekend, starts at number 8.

Prop Denis Buckley is named on a replacements bench which also includes forward John Muldoon on his return from injury. Scrum half Frank Murphy, who played his first minutes of senior rugby in over a year last weekend, is also included.

Commenting on the team selection and the trip to Scotland, Lam said: “We know winning at this level comes down to fine margins which has been frustrating for all of us so far this season. But we are determined to capitalise on every opportunity we create to give us a chance of a much-needed win here.

“We face another challenge away from home tomorrow. This season Edinburgh have proven a strong side who are tough to beat at home. They’ve won their last three games at Murrayfield, including an excellent Heineken Cup win over Munster.

“Our squad has been boosted by the return of Robbie (Henshaw) and Eoin (McKeon) while John (Muldoon) passed a late fitness test which sees him named on the bench. We need to deliver a performance that gives us every chance of getting the result.”

CONNACHT (v Edinburgh): Robbie Henshaw; Fionn Carr, Eoin Griffin, David McSharry, Matt Healy; Dan Parks, Kieran Marmion; Ronan Loughney, Sean Henry, Nathan White, Michael Kearney, Craig Clarke (capt), Aly Muldowney, Jake Heenan, Eoin McKeon.

Replacements: Jason Harris-Wright, Denis Buckley, Rodney Ah You, Michael Swift, John Muldoon, Frank Murphy, Craig Ronaldson, Gavin Duffy.