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Connacht Make Seven Changes For Gloucester Rematch

Connacht Make Seven Changes For Gloucester Rematch

Jack Carty and Conor Fitzgerald will both start for Connacht in their round four encounter with Gloucester in Galway ©INPHO/James Crombie

Ireland international Jack Carty is set to start at full-back for Connacht in their Heineken Champions Cup fourth round showdown with Gloucester at the Sportsground on Saturday (kick-off 12.45pm). Tickets are available to buy online here.

The Athlone man is part of a back-three that includes wingers Niyi Adeolokun and John Porch, the scorer of the province’s opening try at Kingsholm last Sunday. Conor Fitzgerald and Caolin Blade also renew their half-back partnership while Kyle Godwin switches to midfield where he partners Bundee Aki.

In the forwards, captain Jarrad Butler will make his 50th appearance in a Connacht jersey. The 28-year-old Australian ace is named in a back row that includes the returning Eoin McKeon at blindside flanker and Paul Boyle at number 8.

Having played all 80 minutes in his last three outings, lock Quinn Roux makes way for fellow international Ultan Dillane who joins Joe Maksymiw in the second row. 20-year-old Academy player Niall Murray is included among the replacements for the first time.

Completing the seven personnel changes is an all-new front row of Peter McCabe, hooker Dave Heffernan and Dominic Robertson-McCoy. The Kiwi tighthead prop was denied a late try by a TMO decision last Sunday.

Speaking ahead of the rematch with the Cherry and Whites, Connacht head coach Andy Friend said: “This is a must-win game for us if we are to advance in the Champions Cup this season. We’re expecting a big crowd in the Sportsground and we know how difficult it can be to beat us – especially when we are at home.

“We have made a number of changes from last weekend with some positional changes and some fresh legs coming in. We’ve learned a lot from the away defeat and we have picked a side that we feel can beat Gloucester on Saturday.”

CONNACHT (v Gloucester): Jack Carty; Niyi Adeolokun, Kyle Godwin, Bundee Aki, John Porch; Conor Fitzgerald, Caolin Blade; Peter McCabe, Dave Heffernan, Dominic Robertson-McCoy, Ultan Dillane, Joe Maksymiw, Eoin McKeon, Jarrad Butler (capt), Paul Boyle.

Replacements: Shane Delahunt, Denis Buckley, Finlay Bealham, Niall Murray, Eoghan Masterson, Stephen Kerins, Tom Daly, Robin Copeland.