Jump to main content


Four Changes For Connacht

Four Changes For Connacht

The Connacht team to face Exeter Chiefs in round 5 of the European Challenge Cup at the Sportsground on Sunday (kick-off 3.15pm) has been named. Head coach Pat Lam has made four personnel changes to the side that lost to Edinburgh.

Craig Ronaldson has been handed the reins at out-half in a half-back pairing with 22-year-old Ireland international Kieran Marmion who will be making his 70th senior appearance for Connacht.

Dave McSharry, whose new two-year deal with the province was confirmed today, starts in the centre with Robbie Henshaw, while Matt Healy returns to the left wing with Danie Poolman shifting over to the right.

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

The only change to the starting pack sees number 8 George Naoupu (pictured below) promoted from the bench to start in a back row alongside Willie Faloon and captain John Muldoon.

Commenting on the team selection and the crunch European clash, Pat Lam said: “With a new challenge this week, we’ve changed up our back-line slightly for the visit of Exeter Chiefs. Craig did very well for us against Munster and, after coming back from injury, he gets a chance again on Sunday.

“With Bundee (Aki) unfortunately out injured for the next while, it’s great to be able to call on the experience of Dave. And with the different conditions expected this week, Matt Healy returns.

“This is a massively important game for us. While we have stated that our main priority is the PRO12, another of our big team goals is to progress in Europe to the knockout stages. This game on Sunday against a quality Premiership side in Exeter is vital in determining who tops this group.

“The weather is looking dry for our Sunday afternoon kick-off so that will make for a change for us and also our fantastic supporters who have braved the tough conditions the last two weeks. We’re all looking forward to another packed Sportsground.”
CONNACHT (v Exeter Chiefs): Mils Muliaina; Danie Poolman, Robbie Henshaw, Dave McSharry, Matt Healy; Craig Ronaldson, Kieran Marmion; Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney, Rodney Ah You, Quinn Roux, Aly Muldowney, John Muldoon (capt), Willie Faloon, George Naoupu.

Replacements: Dave Heffernan, JP Cooney, Finlay Bealham, Andrew Browne, Eoin McKeon, Caolin Blade, Jack Carty, Darragh Leader.