Head coach Pat Lam has made one change to his starting line-up for Connacht’s GUINNESS PRO12 showdown with Leinster at the Sportsground on Friday (kick-off 7.35pm).
Lock Aly Muldowney replaces Michael Kearney for his first start of the season. Irish-qualified Muldowney joins the on-loan Quinn Roux in the second row, while Galway man John Muldoon will captain the side from the back row.
There are no changes to the young back-line with the 22-year-old Jack Carty, who earned his first start against Leinster in Galway last season, keeping hold of the reins at out-half.
Ireland international Kieran Marmion, who plays his 56th consecutive game since his debut in September 2012, completes the half-back pairing.
There are changes to the bench with uncapped sub-Academy hooker Shane Delahunt (pictured below) and Ronan Loughney named among the forwards replacements, while the Dublin-born Matt Healy could also make his first appearance of the season.
Commenting on the team selection and the interprovincial derby, Pat Lam said: “Aly comes in for his first start after recovering from a pre-season injury sustained in France. It’s great to have further options up front and we look forward to Mick’s impact off the bench.
“With the unfortunate injury to Sean (Henry), young Shane comes in as a replacement. Shane travelled with us to Clermont and got some game-time against a top French side. It’s fair to say he’s pretty excited to be getting an opportunity a lot earlier than he would have expected.
“We’re pleased to have Matt and Ronan back for us. They’re both very hungry to play and we expect a powerful impact from the bench if they’re called upon.
“As far as the game goes, there’s no doubt we’re all hugely excited for tomorrow’s game. This is a brilliant opportunity for our young side to test themselves as a team against a world-class side full of quality individuals.”
Tickets for Connacht v Leinster are going fast with the Clan Stand and Main Stand now sold out. There are limited tickets remaining for behind the posts, in the Enclosed Stand and the newly installed Seated Stand. Click here for tickets.
CONNACHT (v Leinster): Darragh Leader; Niyi Adeolokun, Robbie Henshaw, David McSharry, Danie Poolman; Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion; Denis Buckley, David Heffernan, Nathan White, Aly Muldowney, Quinn Roux, John Muldoon (capt), Willie Faloon, Eoin McKeon.
Replacements: Shane Delahunt, Ronan Loughney, Rodney Ah You, Michael Kearney, George Naoupu, Ian Porter, Craig Ronaldson, Matt Healy.