Saturday 16 December 2017

Edinburgh will be a different proposition with 'main men' back - Lam

Andrew Browne will spend some time on the sidelines with a thigh injury
Andrew Browne will spend some time on the sidelines with a thigh injury

Daragh Small

Connacht coach Pat Lam is expecting a much stronger Edinburgh team to face them this Friday than the one Munster defeated last weekend.

Munster lorded it over the Scottish side, especially in the scrum, an area that Edinburgh usually pride themselves on.

But coach Alan Solomons did not select first-choice tighthead WP Nel or hooker Ross Ford, while Alastair Dickinson was injured. Lam is expecting a stronger team to arrive at the Sportsground.

"We actually disregard that game because we saw that selection as not their strongest team and there will be a totally different squad coming this week," said Lam.

"The way they played was not Edinburgh. Edinburgh have got the strongest scrum in this competition but they didn't play their main guys. When the team comes out you'll see.

"They competed well at times, but I think all of us know Edinburgh well and we could pick the team. We expect a lot of changes. They knew they had a six-day turnaround and back-to-back trips to Ireland, so there is a strong team coming here."

Meanwhile, second-row Andrew Browne is likely to spend some time on the sidelines after picking up a thigh injury in training last week.


Initially named in the team to face Scarlets, Browne was withdrawn at the last minute, and Connacht are awaiting the results of scans on the Galway lock's injury.

"Andrew sustained a thigh injury at the back end of last week so he is awaiting results of a scan to determine the extent of that," said Lam.

As a result of Browne's injury and the long term lay-off of Ben Marshall, Connacht have signed Irish-qualified lock James Cannon from Wasps, who they registered in their Champions Cup squad last week.

"Recruitment is ongoing. The biggest thing is when we had a few injuries, and also planning for Ultan (Dillane) and Quinn (Roux) as well. And with Ben Marshall still out injured.

"We looked at James Cannon a couple of times a few years ago and we heard he was available, so we jumped at that."

Eoin Griffin is also doubtful for the weekend after he sustained a hamstring injury against Scarlets. However, there was some positive news with concussion victims Peter Robb and Danie Poolman both reporting for training this week.

Meanwhile, Edinburgh could be without lock Fraser McKenzie, who has been cited for dangerous play in last weekend's defeat to Munster.

Irish Independent

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