Monday 27 January 2020

Connacht ring the changes for their trip to Treviso

Connacht boss Pat Lam has made a number of changes to his team for tomorrow night's clash with Treviso at the Stadio di Monigo after two bruising weekends.

Up front, props Brett Wilkinson and Nathan White move to the replacements bench and make way for Rodney Ah You and Ronan Loughney.

Second row Aly Muldowney, who made quite an impression from the bench against the Ospreys, replaces the injured Michael Swift. Muldowney partners Craig Clarke who captains the side this week, with George Naoupu starting at number 8.

In the back division, Tiernan O'Halloran and Fionn Carr are named on the wings while Danie Poolman moves to outside centre to partner Eoin Griffin.

Dan Parks starts at out-half and will be joined by Paul O'Donohoe, who makes his first start at scrum half this season.

Mata Fifita and Jack Carty are in line to make their first competitive appearances of the season in Italy after tehy were named on the replacements bench.

Speaking about the team selection and Friday's round 5 tie, Lam said: "With back-to-back physical games against Ulster and the Ospreys and a short turnaround this week we have made a number of changes.

"Robbie Henshaw is with the IRFU player welfare programme and is unavailable for Treviso. We were also hoping to play James So'oialo but unfortunately his work permit is still yet to come through so we continue to wait.

"We were unfortunate with injuries again this week but that challenge gives our young players, such as Academy out-half Jack Carty, the chance to step up and make their mark.

"Jack has done extremely well in training and playing with the Eagles and he deserves his place in the squad this week.

"We face a tough challenge in playing Treviso and we know the level of physicality we can expect from them.

"For us, this week has been about improving the areas of our game which let us down last time out. It's all about progress and improvement and we need to keep forging ahead."

Connacht team to play Treviso: (15-9) Gavin Duffy; Tiernan O'Halloran, Danie Poolman, Eoin Griffin, Fionn Carr; Dan Parks, Paul O'Donohoe; (1-8) Rodney Ah You, Sean Henry, Ronan Loughney, Aly Muldowney, Craig Clarke (capt), Andrew Browne, Jake Heenan, George Naoupu

Replacements: (16-23) James Rael, Brett Wilkinson, Nathan White, John Muldoon, Mata Fifita, Kieran Marmion, Jack Carty, Matt Healy.

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