Sunday 18 February 2018

Pat Lam makes two changes to his Connacht side for Dragons game

Connacht head coach Pat Lam
Connacht head coach Pat Lam

Connacht boss Pat Lam has made two changes to his starting XV for tomorrow evening's clash with the Dragons at the Sportsgrounds (kick-off 5pm).

Mayo-man Gavin Duffy starts on the right wing for his 170th Connacht appearance. The remainder of the back line remains unchanged for the return to PRO12 action.

Nathan White, who missed last week’s game due to illness, represents the only change to the pack.

Craig Clarke will captain the side tomorrow, partnered by Mick Kearney in the second row.

On the bench, 22-year-old Dave Heffernan has been called in as replacement hooker for the unavailable Sean Henry.  Academy out half and Eagles captain Jack Carty has also been called up

Commenting on the team selection and the upcoming game, Head Coach Pat Lam said: “We had a shorter week in terms of training sessions this week as we had to give the players a day off on Monday to shake off the flu virus. We also had to plan without Craig (Ronaldson), Sean (Henry) and Frank (Murphy) who we lost to injury last week.

“With the forecasted weather conditions, back three coverage for kicks is crucial so it’s great to bring back the experience and voice of Gavin Duffy.

“Dragons are an improved side this year. They’re seventh in the table and it will be another tough challenge this week. We know that we need to put them under pressure right from the kick off. If we bring the heart, that was so evident in our Toulouse games, to our roles in the game plan it will give us a great opportunity to achieve the outcome we all want.”

Connacht: Robbie Henshaw; Gavin Duffy, Eoin Griffin, Dave McSharry, Matt Healy; Dan Parks, Kieran Marmion; Brett Wilkinson, Jason Harris-Wright, Nathan White; Mick Kearney, Craig Clarke (Capt.); John Muldoon, Jake Heenan, Eoin McKeon.

Replacements: Dave Heffernan, Denis Buckley, Rodney Ah You, Andrew Browne, George Naoupu, Paul O’Donohoe, Jack Carty, Fionn Carr.

NG Dragons: Daniel Evans; Will Harries, Pat Leach, Ross Wardle, Hallam Amos; Jason Tovey, Richie Rees; Owen Evans, Sam Parry, Francisco Chaparro; Andrew Coombs (Capt.), Cory Hill; Lewis Evans, Nic Cudd, Toby Faletau.

Replacements: T.Rhys Thomas, Hugh Gustafson, Dan Way, Matthew Screech, Ieuan Jones, Wayne Evans, Steffan Jones, Ashley Smith.

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