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CONNACHT v THE DRAGONS tomorrow, TG4, KO 5.30

If Munster struggle to thrive without Paul O'Connell, the denial of John Muldoon has the same effect on Connacht as Eric Elwood approaches his first competitive outing as coach.

The former Ireland fly-half has been long enough in the shadow of Michael Bradley, as assistant coach, to work out the best way forward from his perspective.

There was a discernible shift in Connacht's style of play once Elwood had been confirmed as head coach in the middle of last season. He was putting in the ground work for a more entertaining approach to the game.

The last four encounters between the two teams have all been won by the home side on the day, whilst the Dragons' only previous victory in Galway was 32-14 on May 1, 2004.

There is little reason to believe this trend will change.