Local players on Six Nations duty
Despite not having a Pro12 game to look forward to this weekend, there will be plenty to interest Connacht supporters tonight as players from the province will represent Ireland in the Women's and U-20s Six Nations.
Connacht trio Mairead Coyne, Alison Miller and Claire Molloy will all start tonight's clash with Scotland at Broadwood Stadium in Glasgow (6.35pm), while the uncapped Ciara O'Connor, Nichola Fryday and Mary Healy could all feature from the bench.
"There's some new caps in the side for this Friday, and those players have performed really well in the camps that we've had over the previous number of weeks. So now it's their chance to transfer what they've been doing in training into the international arena," said coach Tom Tierney.
Meanwhile, Connacht academy player Cillian Gallagher will be the sole representative from the province in the Ireland U-20 match-day squad that takes on Scotland in their Six Nations opener at Broadwood Stadium (8.30pm) - part of an attractive double-header at the venue.
Nigel Carolan has named an exciting XV for their first game of the year, and the Sligo-born forward is one of only two players named to start that hold experience of playing in the competition previously.
Out-half Johnny McPhillips from Ulster also played in last year's Six Nations and junior world cup with Gallagher, which ended in an agonising defeat to England in the final.
"As is the nature of U-20s rugby, there is fresh look to the side, the majority of the guys haven't played at this level before," said Carolan.
"However, many have gotten good game-time with their provincial 'A' teams in the British and Irish Cup this season, so that should stand to them."