Picture Credit ©INPHO/Donall Farmer
Ahead of the final round of Guinness PRO12 action this season, Connacht Rugby head coach Pat Lam has made eleven changes to his side to face Munster at Thomond Park tomorrow.
Tiernan O’Halloran, who was today named on the PRO12 Dream Team of the Season, Tom Farrell, Cian Kelleher and Andrew Browne are the only players retained in the starting XV following the defeat to Scarlets six days ago.
Kiltoom’s Jack Carty makes up the half back pairing with Kieran Marmion for the trip to Limerick while last week’s try scorer Craig Ronaldson is named in midfield with Farrell. Prop Conor Carey makes his return from long term injury in a new front row with Shane Delahunt and Roscommon town’s Denis Buckley.
In the back row, John Muldoon returns to captain the side and is joined by flankers Eoin McKeon and James Connolly.
Replacement prop JP Cooney will make his 50th appearance for the province if called upon from the bench tomorrow afternoon.
Commenting on the upcoming game, Pat Lam said:
“With this being our final game before the European play off, there is no question that we need an improved performance in Limerick tomorrow. With quite a few changes from last weekend, it’s an opportunity for those guys selected to drive that improvement.
“Winning only once in 29 years in Thomond Park emphasises the challenge we face tomorrow. With the way Munster are playing as a team this season, there is no doubt that challenge has got even tougher.
“At the end of the day it’s a derby game with a lot on the line for both teams and we’re really looking forward to it.”
The Connacht Rugby team in full to face Munster is as follows:
(Connacht caps in brackets)
15 Tiernan O’Halloran (126)
14 Danie Poolman (84)
13 Tom Farrell (8)
12 Craig Ronaldson (66)
11 Cian Kelleher (12)
10 Jack Carty (79)
9 Kieran Marmion (119)
1 Denis Buckley (117)
2 Shane Delahunt (27)
3 Conor Carey (10)
4 Quinn Roux (56)
5 Andrew Browne (154)
6 Eoin McKeon (106)
7 James Connolly (22)
8 John Muldoon (301) (captain)
16 Dave Heffernan (83)
17 JP Cooney (49)
18 Finlay Bealham (81)
19 Sean O’Brien (38)
20 Naulia Dawai (11)
21 John Cooney (38)
22 Marnitz Boshoff (3)
23 Darragh Leader (52)
Kick off in Thomond Park is at 5:15pm and the game is live on TG4.