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Connacht Bring In Muldowney For Cardiff Game

Connacht Bring In Muldowney For Cardiff Game

Connacht head coach Pat Lam has made just one change to his team to take on Cardiff Blues in the province’s final home game of the season on Saturday (kick-off 5pm).

The in-form Welsh side sit just three points ahead of Connacht in eighth place in the RaboDirect PRO12, ahead of the league’s penultimate round.

Up front, Andrew Browne makes way for Aly Muldowney who slots into the second row alongside Michael Kearney.

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The Connacht Players’ Player of the Year Kieran Marmion will wear the number 9 jersey for his 25th start of the season, partnering Miah Nikora at half-back.

Robbie Henshaw is named at outside centre and links up with Galway-born Eoin Griffin, who will play his final game at the Sportsground before his departure for London Irish.

After missing out on facing Munster in the previous round, replacement hooker David Heffernan has recovered from injury to take his place on the bench.

Attention will undoubtedly be directed towards some of the other replacements – namely Frank Murphy, Dan Parks and Gavin Duffy, who will all be finishing with Connacht at the end of the season.

Commenting on the team selection and the round 21 fixture, Pat Lam said: “This is a massive game for us. Cardiff are confident coming off the back of three good wins and in contrast we’ve had three straight losses.

“We’re both fighting for strong finishes to the season and I’ve no doubt it will be a hard-fought game.

“There is of course a lot of emotion attached to this game and it’s the last time a lot of guys will get the chance to play in front of the home crowd. It’s a great opportunity for us all to acknowledge the contribution of these true Connacht servants.

“As a team, we’ve spoken a lot this week about channelling all that emotion into doing our jobs well and putting ourselves in a position to finish where no Connacht team has finished before (seventh or higher).”

CONNACHT (v Cardiff Blues): Darragh Leader; Danie Poolman, Robbie Henshaw, Eoin Griffin, Matt Healy; Miah Nikora, Kieran Marmion; Ronan Loughney, Jason Harris-Wright, Rodney Ah You, Aly Muldowney, Michael Kearney, John Muldoon (capt), Willie Faloon, Eoin McKeon.

Replacements: David Heffernan, Denis Buckley, Finlay Bealham, Michael Swift, Andrew Browne, Frank Murphy, Dan Parks, Gavin Duffy.