Sport Rugby

Saturday 24 February 2018

Two changes for Connacht as Pat Lam seeks Italian job

Pat Lam
Pat Lam

Connacht head coach Pat Lam has named his side to face Zebre in round 5 of the Heineken Cup at the Sportsground on Saturday.

There are just two personnel changes to the westerners' starting line-up this week, with both of those switches occurring in the pack.

Jake Heenan, who missed out on the last two games due to injury, is named to start in the back row. John Muldoon returns to his regular position of blindside flanker, having lined out at openside in Heenan's absence.

Portumna man Muldoon will also captain the side for this round 5 clash after Craig Clarke was ruled out with a neck injury sustained against leinster last time out.

In the New Zealander's place, Andrew Browne slots into the second row to partner Michael Kearney.

In the front row, Sligo-born hooker Sean Henry, whose last game was against Toulouse in the home Heineken Cup tie last month, has returned from injury to start against the Italians.

The same all-Irish qualified back-line that started against Leinster is selected to face Zebre, with Kieran Marmion at scrum half, Jack Carty at out-half, Eoin Griffin and Robbie Henshaw in midfield and Matt Healy, Fionn Carr and Darragh Leader in the back-three.

Mayo man Gavin Duffy is named on the replacements bench.

Connacht: Darragh Leader; Fionn Carr, Robbie Henshaw, Eoin Griffin, Matt Healy; Jack Carty, Kieran Marmion; Brett Wilkinson, Sean Henry, Nathan White, Michael Kearney, Andrew Browne, John Muldoon (capt), Jake Heenan, Eoin McKeon.

Replacements: Jason Harris-Wright, Denis Buckley, Rodney Ah You, Michael Swift, George Naoupu, Paul O'Donohoe, Dan Parks, Gavin Duffy.

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