Tuesday 27 September 2016

Big guns back for Connacht's Pro 12 tussle with Glasgow

Published 06/05/2016 | 14:03

Rob Henshaw and Bundee Aki celebrate Connacht's victory over Munster (SPORTSFILE)
Rob Henshaw and Bundee Aki celebrate Connacht's victory over Munster (SPORTSFILE)

Connacht boss Pat Lam has been boosted by the return of some of his big hitters for tomorrow's Pro12 clash against Glasgow Warriors.

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The top two go head to head in Glasgow with Connacht needing a win to secure a top two finish and a home semi-final draw.

Tiernan O’Halloran and Kieran Marmion will mark make their 100th appearance with Marmion one of nine personnel changes made by head coach Pat Lam for the sold out clash.

Bundee Aki and Matt Healy have both returned from injury to take their place in a back line that also sees the re-introduction of internationals Robbie Henshaw at centre and AJ MacGinty at outhalf.

The league’s highest capped player John Muldoon returns to captain the side at Number 8 behind a second row partnership of Ultan Dillan and Aly Muldowney. Finlay Bealham, the only player to have featured in all 28 games so far this season, is named to start at tighthead prop.

“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," said Lam.

"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 club 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 team to face Glasgow Warriors, Saturday 7th May, the Sportsground, 3pm

15           Tiernan O’Halloran

14           Niyi Adeolokun

13           Robbie Henshaw

12           Bundee Aki

11           Matt Healy

10           AJ MacGinty

9              Kieran Marmion

 

1              Ronan Loughney

2              Tom McCartney

3              Finlay Bealham

4              Ultan Dillane

5              Aly Muldowney

6              Sean O’Brien

7              Jake Heenan

8              John Muldoon (captain)

 

Replacements:

 

16           Dave Heffernan

17           JP Cooney

18           Rodney Ah You

19           Quinn Roux

20           Eoin McKeon

21           John Cooney

22           Shane O’Leary

23           Peter Robb

 

Injured/Unavailable: Denis Buckley, Nathan White, Conan O’Donnell, Andrew Browne, Ben Marshall, Nepia Fox-Matamua, Eoghan Masterson, Ian Porter, Craig Ronaldson, Dave McSharry, Danie Poolman, Darragh Leader, Ciaran Gaffney.

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