The return of Finlay Bealham, Mack Hansen, and Josh Murphy from injury, are among nine changes made to the Connacht lineup for this weekend’s game.
Connacht will be playing the Cell C Sharks this Saturday at the Sportsground in the United Rugby Championship, with kick-off at 5:15pm.
Bealham joins an all-new front row of Denis Buckley and Shane Delahunt, while Oisín Dowling comes into the second row alongside the retained Darragh Murray.
The back row sees Murphy come in at blindside flanker with Conor Oliver on the opposite flank and Shamus Hurley-Langton at number 8.
Kieran Marmion comes back in at scrum-half beside captain Jack Carty, while there’s a start for Cathal Forde at inside centre with Tom Farrell for company.
The back three includes Hansen and John Porch on the wings with Tiernan O’Halloran at full-back.
It’s a significant shake up for the squad after Leinster scored a definitive win last week, after a strong lead in the second half became a runaway victory following three tries in the final 12 minutes.
“It doesn’t need repeating how important tomorrow’s fixture is,” Director of Rugby Andy Friend said.
“We’ve put ourselves in a position where every point is crucial in these last seven games, so 4 or 5 points tomorrow is a must.”
“We know what to expect from the Sharks. They bring the physicality that you come to expect from a South African side but they also like to throw the ball around, so it should be an exciting one for the fans.”
The full Connacht side for Saturday’s game is:
15. Tiernan O’Halloran (213)
14. John Porch (70)
13. Tom Farrell (88)
12. Cathal Forde (4)
11. Mack Hansen (21)
10. Jack Carty (188) (C)
9. Kieran Marmion (220)
1. Denis Buckley (220)
2. Shane Delahunt (122)
3. Finlay Bealham (182)
4. Oisín Dowling (36)
5. Darragh Murray (3)
6. Josh Murphy (8)
7. Conor Oliver (51)
8. Shamus Hurley-Langton (10)
16. Dylan Tierney-Martin (12)
17. Jordan Duggan (31)
18. Dominic Robertson-McCoy (75)
19. Leva Fifita (19)
20. Cian Prendergast (37)
21. Caolin Blade (159)
22. Conor Fitzgerald (60)
23. Byron Ralston (9)