Saturday 26 May 2018

Munster stars return as Connacht welcome back Buckley for crucial Italian job

Will Slattery

Will Slattery

Pro12 champions Connacht have made six changes for their away tie against Zebre as they search for their first league win of the season.

Pat Lam's men suffered two home hidings against Glasgow and the Ospreys to begin their title defence, but will fancy their chances of registering at least four points when they travel to Italy for tomorrow evening's game.

Wing Cian Kelleher and scrum-half Caolin Blade are in for Matt Healy and Kieran Marmion in the backline, while there are four changes in the tight five, with Denis Buckley, JP Cooney, Andrew Browne and Lewis Stevenson replacing Ronan Loughney, Finley Bealham, Ultan Dillane and Daniel Qualter.

Elsewhere, Keith Earls will make his first start of the season at outside centre as Munster take on the Dragons in Newport on Saturday evening.

Earls is one of six changes to the team that lost to Cardiff at home last Friday night, with Conor Murray, Donnacha Ryan, CJ Stander, Tyler Bleyendaal, Jean Kleyn also coming into the team.

Connacht's game with Zebre takes place at 5.05pm while Munster's match kicks off at 5.15pm.


15. Tiernan O’Halloran

14. Niyi Adeolokun

13. Bundee Aki

12. Eoin Griffin

11. Cian Kelleher

10. Jack Carty

9. Caolin Blade


1. Denis Buckley

2. Tom McCartney

3. JP Cooney

4. Lewis Stevenson

5. Andrew Browne

6. Eoin McKeon

7. James Connolly

8. John Muldoon (captain)



16. Dave Heffernan

17. Ronan Loughney

18. Conor Carey

19. Ultan Dillane

20. Rory Moloney

21. Kieran Marmion

22. Shane O’Leary

23. Matt Healy



15. Andrew Conway

14. Darren Sweetnam

13. Keith Earls

12. Dan Goggin

11. Ronan O’Mahony

10. Tyler Bleyendaal

9. Conor Murray


1. James Cronin

2. Niall Scannell

3. John Ryan

4. Jean Kleyn

5. Donnacha Ryan

6. Billy Holland (captain)

7. Jack O’Donoghue

8. CJ Stander



16. Duncan Casey

17. Dave Kilcoyne

18. Brian Scott

19. Dave O’Callaghan

20. Conor Oliver

21. Duncan Williams

22. Ian Keatley

23. Colm O’Shea

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