Connacht duo Tiernan O’Halloran and Kieran Marmion will win their 100th provincial caps when they run out at the Sportsground for round 22 of the GUINNESS PRO12 against Glasgow Warriors on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).
Kieran Marmion is one of nine personnel changes made by head coach Pat Lam for the sold-out clash that will decide a home play-off spot.
Bundee Aki and Matt Healy have returned from injury to take their places in a back-line that also sees the re-introduction of internationals Robbie Henshaw at outside centre and AJ MacGinty at out-half.
The league’s most-capped player, John Muldoon, returns to captain the side at number 8 behind a second row partnership of Ultan Dillane and Aly Muldowney. Finlay Bealham, the only player to have featured in all of the westerners’ 28 games so far this season, is named to start at tighthead prop.
Commenting on the final round showdown with Glasgow, Pat Lam said: “Going into play-off rugby, we couldn’t ask for a better challenge than playing the defending champions who are on fire at the moment. Glasgow are undefeated since February and they have threats all over the park.
“While there is so much at stake, we know it’s important for us is to stay focused on what has got us here in the first place. The key now is raising all our standards and team work to yet another level over the next few weeks.
“While we have our place in the play-offs secure, we all know what it would mean to the team and the province if we can bring a semi-final to the Sportsground for the first time.
“Both sides have an attacking mindset so it should be an entertaining game for all rugby fans and especially those at the sold-out Sportsground. We are really looking forward to it.”
CONNACHT (v Glasgow Warriors): Tiernan O’Halloran; Niyi Adeolokun, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, Matt Healy; AJ MacGinty, Kieran Marmion; Ronan Loughney, Tom McCartney, Finlay Bealham, Ultan Dillane, Aly Muldowney, Sean O’Brien, Jake Heenan, John Muldoon (capt).
Replacements: Dave Heffernan, JP Cooney, Rodney Ah You, Quinn Roux, Eoin McKeon, John Cooney, Shane O’Leary, Peter Robb.