Ahead of the final round of GUINNESS PRO12 action this season, head coach Pat Lam has made eleven changes to the team to face Munster at Thomond Park on Saturday (kick-off 5:15pm).
Tiernan O’Halloran, who was today named on the PRO12 Dream Team for 2016/17, Tom Farrell, Cian Kelleher and Andrew Browne are the only players retained in the starting XV following the defeat to the Scarlets six days ago.
Jack Carty and Kieran Marmion make up the half-back pairing for the trip to Limerick, while Craig Ronaldson, the province’s try scorer last Saturday, is selected in midfield with Farrell. Prop Conor Carey makes his return from long-term injury in a new front row with Denis Buckley and hooker Shane Delahunt.
In the back row, John Muldoon returns to captain the side and is joined by flankers Eoin McKeon and James Connolly. Replacement prop JP Cooney will make his 50th appearance for the province if called upon from the bench.
Commenting on the interprovincial encounter with semi-final-bound Munster, Pat Lam said: “With this being our final game before the European play-off, there is no question that we need an improved performance in Limerick tomorrow. With quite a few changes from last weekend, it’s an opportunity for those guys selected to drive that improvement.
“Winning only once in 29 years at Thomond Park emphasises the challenge we face tomorrow. With the way Munster are playing as a team this season, there is no doubt that challenge has got even tougher.
“At the end of the day it’s a derby game with a lot on the line for both teams, and we’re really looking forward to it.”
CONNACHT (v Munster): Tiernan O’Halloran; Danie Poolman, Tom Farrell, Craig Ronaldson, Cian Kelleher; Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion; Denis Buckley, Shane Delahunt, Conor Carey, Quinn Roux, Andrew Browne, Eoin McKeon, James Connolly, John Muldoon (capt).
Replacements: Dave Heffernan, JP Cooney, Finlay Bealham, Sean O’Brien, Naulia Dawai, John Cooney, Marnitz Boshoff, Darragh Leader.