The Connacht team to face Glasgow Warriors in Sunday’s RaboDirect PRO12 match at Scotstoun Stadium (kick-off 2pm) has been named. There are a number of changes to the side that lined out against Saracens three weeks ago.
Out-half Jack Carty has been handed his third start of the season by head coach Pat Lam – the 21-year-old will feature alongside scrum half Kieran Marmion who earned his first Ireland Wolfhounds cap in the victory over England Saxons during the break.
Craig Ronaldson returns from injury to partner the Galway-born Eoin Griffin in the centre, while Ireland international Robbie Henshaw has been released back to his province to start at full-back this week in place of the injured Gavin Duffy.
Fionn Carr starts on the right wing for his 100th league game, while Connacht’s joint-top try scorer of the season (with Marmion), Matt Healy, is named on the left.
Up front, Roscommon-born prop Denis Buckley earns his first start of the season in an all-new front row with Rodney Ah You and hooker Jason Harris-Wright.
Andrew Browne moves into the second row to partner Michael Kearney. John Muldoon will captain the side from the back row where he combines with Jake Heenan and George Naoupu.
Commenting on the team selection and Sunday’s opponents, Lam said: “It’s obviously a big disappointment for us losing Craig (Clarke), Nathan (White), Sean (Henry) and Brett (Wilkinson) – four of the frontliners from our forward pack.
“But we have full confidence in our squad and this is another opportunity for our younger forwards to step up, with a start this week.
“Having Robbie (Henshaw) back in the starting line-up is a bonus, especially with Gavin (Duffy) unavailable this week.
“The versatility of our young backs allows Robbie to move to full-back and Craig (Ronaldson) to slip into inside centre with Eoin (Griffin) moving outside him.
“Playing Glasgow is a huge test for us. They are a very direct side with one of the best defensive structures in the entire league. Connacht has never won at Scotstoun and this is something we want to change.”
CONNACHT (v Glasgow Warriors): Robbie Henshaw; Fionn Carr, Eoin Griffin, Craig Ronaldson, Matt Healy; Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion; Denis Buckley, Jason Harris-Wright, Rodney Ah You, Michael Kearney, Andrew Browne, John Muldoon (capt), Jake Heenan, George Naoupu.
Replacements: David Heffernan, Ronan Loughney, JP Cooney, Michael Swift, Aly Muldowney, Paul O’Donohoe, Dan Parks, Darragh Leader.