Connacht Buckley Carty Qualter

Five changes in Connacht side to face Zebre

Connacht Buckley Carty Qualter

Pat Lam has made five changes to the Connacht side to face Zebre away in Round 15 of the Guinness PRO12.

Ireland international Kieran Marmion returns to the backline and links up with AJ MacGinty at half back. Wing Niyi Adeolokun will play his 10th game this season in a pacey back three with Tiernan O’Halloran and Connacht’s top try scorer this season Matt Healy.

Finlay Bealham has also been released from Ireland squad duty this week to take his place in the front row, having featured in every game for Connacht this season. 25-year-old lock Ben Marshall has returned from the arm injury that has kept him sidelined since November to start in the second row alongside Aly Muldowney.

Galway-born Eoin McKeon is promoted from the bench to wear the number 8 jersey in a back row with Jake Heenan and captain John Muldoon.

Commenting on the team selection and the upcoming game, Pat Lam said:

“As we head away on one of the longer away trips in the PRO12 schedule, it was great to have some of our Irish boys back from camp to train with us as well as a few guys coming off the injured list.

“We’ve been over to play Zebre a fair few times in the last couple of years between PRO12 and Europe and they’ve always challenged us, particularly up front. There’s no doubt they will be fired up to make amends for their big defeat to Leinster last week. We’ve seen what they can do to teams this season, particulary on their home ground, so we will need to be right on top of our game mentally .

“While it’s extremely tight at the top end of the table, we are solely focused on the quality of our performance tomorrow to get the points on offer in what will be another tough test on the road.”

Connacht team to face Zebre, Saturday February 20th, 5:30pm (local time)
15 Tiernan O’Halloran
14 Niyi Adeolokun
13 Bundee Aki
12 Craig Ronaldson
11 Matt Healy
10 AJ MacGinty
9 Kieran Marmion

1 Denis Buckley
2 Tom McCartney
3 Finlay Bealham
4 Ben Marshall
5 Aly Muldowney
6 John Muldoon (captain)
7 Jake Heenan
8 Eoin McKeon

16 Dave Heffernan
17 Ronan Loughney
18 Rodney Ah You
19 George Naoupu
20 Eoghan Masterson
21 Caolin Blade
22 Peter Robb
23 Danie Poolman