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Three Changes For Connacht’s Cardiff Trip

Three Changes For Connacht’s Cardiff Trip

Connacht head coach Pat Lam has made three personnel changes to his team to face Cardiff Blues at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Friday night (kick-off 7.35pm).

Mils Muliaina returns to the fray and will start at full-back, while last weekend’s opening try scorer, Tiernan O’Halloran, shifts to the right wing.

The 23-year-old Michael Kearney is promoted to the starting line-up and joins Aly Muldowney in the second row. George Naoupu’s inclusion at number 8 represents the other change to the pack.

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Darragh Leader returns from injury to take his place on the bench and his fellow Galway-born team-mate Andrew Browne is included among the replacement forwards.

Commenting on the team selection and the crunch GUINNESS PRO12 tie, Pat Lam said: “With another physical challenge away from home, it’s great to be able to bring in fresh legs up front with Mick, George and Andrew in addition to the leadership and experience from Mils out the back.

“Like every game from now until the end of the season, four points against Cardiff is massively important in the context of our ultimate goal.

“Challenges we face this week such as a short five-day turnaround, long travel, and 4G pitch were all identified early on and we tailored our preparation accordingly.

“We know how dangerous Cardiff can be, especially at home. They had a fantastic win against Edinburgh last weekend, playing more of an expansive game and stretching the defence to score some quality tries. Once again, we will need to perform as a team to secure the desired outcome that will leave us in a strong position before the break.”
CONNACHT (v Cardiff Blues): Mils Muliaina; Tiernan O’Halloran, Danie Poolman, Dave McSharry, Matt Healy; Craig Ronaldson, John Cooney; Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney, Rodney Ah You, Michael Kearney, Aly Muldowney, John Muldoon (capt), Jake Heenan, George Naoupu.

Replacements: Shane Delahunt, Ronan Loughney, Finlay Bealham, Andrew Browne, Eoghan Masterson, Ian Porter, Jack Carty, Darragh Leader.