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Connacht Make Four Changes For Ospreys Game

Connacht Make Four Changes For Ospreys Game

As Connacht return to the Sportsground for round 16 of the GUINNESS PRO12, head coach Pat Lam has made four personnel changes to the team that lined out in the bonus point win over Zebre six days ago.

Caolin Blade and Rodney Ah You are both named to start at scrum half and tighthead prop respectively, while Ireland squad members, Kieran Marmion and Finlay Bealham, were released to join up with Connacht on Thursday and so take their places on the bench.

George Naoupu is another change to the pack, starting with Aly Muldowney in the second row, and Academy player Sean O’Brien comes in to start at openside flanker, shifting his fellow Galway-born team mate and captain John Muldoon to number 8 in the absence of injured duo Eoghan Masterson and Eoin McKeon. James Connolly is named among the replacements as back row cover.

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Commenting on the team announcement and the visit of the Ospreys on Saturday (kick-off 7.35pm), Pat Lam said: “Although we’re playing at home, we are under no illusions as to the quality of the team we’re playing and the challenge we face.

“We respect what the Ospreys have done as a team. They have won this competition on two occasions already and have consistently been in the top four over the years with quality squad depth.

“They’re certainly in form, having lost just one game in their last nine and we know they will be hungry to continue their climb up the table.

“For us, there was a big focus in training on tidying up the areas that let us down against Zebre last week and this should go a long way in ensuring an improvement in our overall performance to get the points on offer in front of our supporters at home.”

While the Clan, Main and Enclosed stands are all sold out, there are tickets still available behind the posts and available online through tickets.ie.

CONNACHT (v Ospreys): Tiernan O’Halloran; Niyi Adeolokun, Bundee Aki, Craig Ronaldson, Matt Healy; AJ MacGinty, Caolin Blade; Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney, Rodney Ah You, George Naoupu, Aly Muldowney, Sean O’Brien, Jake Heenan, John Muldoon (capt).

Replacements: Dave Heffernan, Ronan Loughney, Finlay Bealham, Ben Marshall, James Connolly, Kieran Marmion, Peter Robb, Danie Poolman.