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Henshaw Returns At Full-Back For Connacht

Henshaw Returns At Full-Back For Connacht

Ireland international Robbie Henshaw will start in the full-back position for Connacht’s GUINNESS PRO12 clash with Benetton Treviso at the Sportsground on Friday (kick-off 7.30pm).

Robbie Henshaw, in his first appearance for Connacht since the Rugby World Cup, is one of six personnel changes to Pat Lam’s side from last Saturday’s win over Edinburgh.
Last week’s man-of-the-match Tiernan O’Halloran shifts to the right wing in a slightly changed back-line that also sees scrum half John Cooney come in for his second start of the season. 
In the pack, Dave Heffernan and Ireland international Nathan White are introduced to the front row, while Ultan Dillane comes into the second row to partner Andrew Browne, who is playing his 100th PRO12 game.
Galway man Eoin McKeon returns to the back row to link up with captain John Muldoon and New Zealander Nepia Fox-Matamua, the scorer of three tries so far this season.
From the bench, USA international outhalf AJ MacGinty (pictured below) could make his Connacht debut after linking up with the westerners last month.

Commenting on the team selection and the Italian visitors, head coach Lam said: “We’ve made a few changes this week, with Robbie and Nathan back for us but also some guys returning from injury. This is only game four of the 16-game run so it’s a long way to go and we’re going to need players feeling as fresh as possible each week.

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“Robbie will start in the number 15 shirt for us where he has a lot of experience from his earlier days at Connacht. Obviously Tiernan has done a great job for us at full-back since the start of the season, but his move to wing for this game means we can keep that continuity in our centre partnership for this week.

“We always have tough, physical battles when it comes to Treviso and we’ve always had to work hard against them. They have the ability to pile on the pressure and it’s up to us to counter that by being disciplined to stay in our systems and structures.

“We’re delighted to be at home again and we want to sign off this block of PRO12 games with another win at the Sportsground.”
CONNACHT (v Benetton Treviso): Robbie Henshaw; Tiernan O’Halloran, Bundee Aki, Craig Ronaldson, Matt Healy; Jack Carty, John Cooney; Denis Buckley, Dave Heffernan, Nathan White, Ultan Dillane, Andrew Browne, John Muldoon (capt), Nepia Fox-Matamua, Eoin McKeon.

Replacements: Tom McCartney, Finlay Bealham, Rodney Ah You, Aly Muldowney, Eoghan Masterson, Kieran Marmion, AJ MacGinty, Darragh Leader.