Head coach Nigel Carolan has named his Connacht Eagles side to face London Scottish in round 4 of the British & Irish Cup at the Athletic Ground in Richmond on Saturday (kick-off 7pm).
The selected matchday squad features a strong mix of senior, Academy and club talent and there are eight changes to the team that faced the same opposition at the Sportsground last month.
Shane Layden, Conor Finn and Caolin Blade have been brought in to boost the back-line where the experience of veteran out-half Miah Nikora will be called upon.
Academy forwards Jack Dinneen and Saba Meunargia are installed in the front row, while Michael Swift, back from injury, returns to familiar territory where he once played for club side Richmond.
Flanker Mata Fifita will play his first game of the season for Connacht after returning from injury this month and playing for club side Buccaneers in Ulster Bank League Division 1B last week.
Nigel Carolan’s charges recorded their first cup victory of the season last month when they defeated London Scottish 30-27 in a dramatic finish at the Sportsground.
In blustery conditions in Galway, two late converted tries from Shane O’Leary (78 minutes) and Stephen McVeigh (80) steered Connacht Eagles past Scottish. That result has the Eagles in third place in Pool 1, two points ahead of their round 4 opponents.
CONNACHT EAGLES (v London Scottish): Shane Layden; David Panter, Conor Finn, Peter Robb, Shane O’Leary; Miah Nikora, Caolin Blade; Jacob Walshe, Jack Dinneen, Saba Meunargia, Michael Swift, Ultan Dillan, Mata Fifita, Rory Moloney, Eoghan Masterson (capt).
Replacements: Pat O’Toole, Conan O’Donnell, Cian Romaine, Stephen McVeigh, Conor Lowndes, Conor McKeon, Rory Parata.