Connacht captain John Muldoon will play his 300th game for the westerners when he lines out against provincial rivals and GUINNESS PRO12 leaders Leinster at a sold-out Sportsground on Saturday (kick-off 7.35pm).
John Muldoon, who has started 23 games already this season, leads a team featuring four personnel changes from last weekend’s win in Edinburgh. The 34-year-old will have Eoin McKeon and Jake Heenan for company in the back row.
Jack Carty is handed the reins at out-half for the visit of high-flying Leinster, while Craig Ronaldson is recalled to start in the centre with Bundee Aki.
Hooker Dave Heffernan and Ireland prop Finlay Bealham are named in the front row, slotting in beside loosehead Denis Buckley, in an otherwise unchanged starting pack.
Commenting on this weekend’s eagerly-awaited interprovincial clash in Galway, Connacht head coach Pat Lam said: “It’s great to be back at the Sportsground in front of our home support after a number of weeks on the road. Leinster are flying high at the top of the PRO12 table as well as in Europe and we know we are coming up against a tough side stacked with quality players.
“But that just adds to the excitement for us as a team. We are really looking forward to this game and the chance to put in a huge performance for ourselves, for our supporters and for John Muldoon on a special day for him.”
CONNACHT (v Leinster): Tiernan O’Halloran; Niyi Adeolokun, Bundee Aki, Craig Ronaldson, Danie Poolman; Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion; Denis Buckley, Dave Heffernan, Finlay Bealham, Quinn Roux, Andrew Browne, Eoin McKeon, Jake Heenan, John Muldoon (capt).
Replacements: Shane Delahunt, JP Cooney, Dominic Robertson-McCoy, Sean O’Brien, Naulia Dawai, Caolin Blade, Steve Crosbie, Eoin Griffin.