Elwood targets Treviso redemption
Connacht coach Eric Elwood is looking for a big response from his men in Treviso tonight (7.0) following their 22-0 drubbing by Munster last weekend.
"We were disappointed with the Munster game. We knew we needed a strong start, that we couldn't let them dictate the game, but we were chasing it once we conceded the two early tries," said Elwood.
"I thought our defence was great in the second half, but the game was gone from us by then. We need to learn from that and we know we will pay the price if we allow the same thing to happen in Italy."
The return of Irish international Mike McCarthy to the second-row is one of four changes Elwood has made. Andrew Browne drops to the bench in place of McCarthy, while hooker Jason Harris-Wright (calf strain) and flanker Willie Faloon (ankle) miss out through injury.
Adrian Flavin comes in at hooker, with Eoin McKeon drafted in to the back-row in place of Faloon.
Franco Smith has included 12 of the Italian squad that disposed of Ireland in the Six Nations, with Edoardo Gori moving to the wing to enable the return of Tobias Botes to the No 9 shirt.
The Treviso back-row includes both Alessandro Zanni and Simone Favaro from the Italian team, while the front-row all featured at the Stadio Olimpico in turning over Declan Kidney's men.
Treviso – L McLean; L Nitoglia, T Iannone, G La Grange, E Gori; A Di Bernardo, T Botes; A De Marchi, L Ghiraldini, L Cittadini; F Minto, C Van Zyl; S Favaro, A Zanni, D Budd. Reps: G Maistri, M Rizzo, J Roux, A Pavanello, P Derbyshire, M Filippucci, F Semenzato, K Burton.
Connacht – R Henshaw; D Poolman, E Griffin, B Murphy, G Duffy; D Parks, K Marmion; B Wilkinson, A Flavin, R Loughney; M Kearney, M McCarthy; J Muldoon, E McKeon, G Naoupu. Reps: E Reynecke, D Buckley, N White, A Browne, D Heffernan, P O'Donohoe, M Nikora, F Vainikolo.
Ref – A McMenemy (SRU)