Head coach Pat Lam has named his Connacht team to face Edinburgh at the Sportsground on Friday night (kick-off 7.35pm). There is just one change to the side that defeated Munster 24-16 last week.
Miah Nikora has been selected at out-half, replacing Craig Ronaldson who remains sidelined with concussion.
The 29-year-old New Zealander, who came on in the second half against Munster, will form the half-back pairing with Ireland international and this season’s top try scorer, Kieran Marmion, for the GUINNESS PRO12 round 13 tie.
Bundee Aki and Robbie Henshaw link up in the centre for the third time this season, while Mils Muliaina, Darragh Leader and Danie Poolman combine again in the back-three.
Up front, the pack remains unchanged with John Muldoon leading from the back row alongside Willie Faloon and Galway man Eoin McKeon (pictured below), who will make his 60th appearance for the province on Friday.
Ronan Loughney and Jack Carty, two more homegrown talents, are both named among the replacements for the visit of the Scottish side.
Commenting on the team selection and Friday’s opposition, Pat Lam said: “With the pleasing team performance last week against Munster, we are putting out the same matchday squad this week with the exception of Craig. But after showing his experience from the bench last week, Miah now comes in to start this important game for us.
“Edinburgh, under astute coach Alan Solomons, are a very powerful and direct team who have shown against top teams like Glasgow and Munster away from home what they are capable of. Like last week, we are expecting tough conditions as well as big, physical contact.
“While there was a lot of excitement around last week’s result, at the end of the day it was four points gained and we need another four points this week. Looking at it, we don’t believe it’s a case of ‘backing up’ the Munster win, but rather a case of being even better again in our performance this week.”
The Clan and Main Stand for Friday’s game are now sold out. Starting at €;20 for adults, remaining tickets are on sale from tickets.ie, the Connacht Rugby office at the Sportsground in Galway and Centra and SuperValu stores province-wide.
CONNACHT (v Edinburgh): Mils Muliaina; Darragh Leader, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, Danie Poolman; Miah Nikora, Kieran Marmion; Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney, Rodney Ah You, Quinn Roux, Aly Muldowney, John Muldoon (capt), Willie Faloon, Eoin McKeon.
Replacements: Dave Heffernan, Ronan Loughney, Finlay Bealham, Ultan Dillane, George Naoupu, John Cooney, Jack Carty, Dave McSharry.