The Connacht team to face the Ospreys in round 2 of the GUINNESS PRO12 has been named and features four changes to the side that lost heavily to Glasgow Warriors last weekend.
For Saturday night’s match at the Sportsground (kick-off 7.35pm), Ireland internationals Tiernan O’Halloran and Kieran Marmion come into the back-line. The Galway-born full-back is set for his first appearance for Connacht since making his Ireland debut in South Africa three months ago.
Ronan Loughney packs down in the front row and Academy graduate James Connolly starts alongside Eoin McKeon and captain John Muldoon in the back row.
Forwards Dominic Robertson-McCoy and Rory Moloney are in line to make their Connacht debuts from the bench, while Danie Poolman is included among the replacement backs.
Commenting on the team selection and the visit of the Welshmen, the province’s head coach Pat Lam said: “Following a few injuries and knocks from last week, we’ve obviously made some changes to the starting team for Saturday. With Caolin (Blade) and Cian (Kelleher) unable to train fully all week, it’s fortunate that we’re able to bring in the experience of Kieran and Tiernan, two Connacht centurions.
“The Ospreys will be another big challenge for us and will come here determined and confident after their impressive win over Zebre in round 1. It’s been a tough week with a lot of honesty and ‘learnings’ for us as a team. I have no doubt that with another game under our belt, we will see a big improvement this weekend.”
CONNACHT (v Ospreys): Tiernan O’Halloran; Niyi Adeolokun, Eoin Griffin, Bundee Aki, Matt Healy; Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion; Ronan Loughney, Tom McCartney, Finlay Bealham, Ultan Dillane, Daniel Qualter, Eoin McKeon, James Connolly, John Muldoon (capt).
Replacements: Dave Heffernan, Dominic Robertson-McCoy, JP Cooney, Lewis Stevenson, Rory Moloney, Caolin Blade, Shane O’Leary, Danie Poolman.