Mack Hansen returns to the lineup after an injury for this weekend’s game against Benetton in the United Rugby Championship.
Six changes have been made from last week’s squad for Connacht’s clash against the Italians in the Sportsground on Ssturday.
Niall Murray, Oisín Dowling, Paul Boyle, Kieran Marmion and Diarmuid Kilgallen have all also been added to the starting XV for the coming game.
Commenting on the team selection, Director of Rugby Andy Friend said that last week’s game against Munster was frustrating for multiple reasons.
“Whilst our intent and attitude were excellent, the bottom line was that we didn’t deliver our best performance.”
“That said, I was pleased with the way the players dug out a bonus point which could be crucial at the end of the season.”
For this Saturday the experienced front row of Denis Buckley, Dave Heffernan and Finlay Bealham is unchanged, while Murray and Dowling make up the lock pairing.
Paul comes in at number 8 with Cian Prendergast and Conor Oliver retained on the flanks.
Captain Jack Carty is named alongside Marmion while the centre pairing of Bundee Aki and Tom Farrell is unchanged.
Hansen starts on the left wing, with John Porch at full-back and Kilgallen on the right wing for his first appearance of the season.
“Tomorrow we’re back at the Sportsground against a very confident Benetton team,” Andy Friend said.
“If we wish to be the victors at the end of 80 minutes, we must bring a level of energy and physicality that we know that we’re capable of for the full game.”
“We are a team that is creating plenty of opportunities, we just need to be better at capitalising on those.”
CONNACHT RUGBY MATCHDAY 23 VS BENETTON RUGBY
Saturday 3rd December, 15:15 @ The Sportsground
15. John Porch (67)
14. Diarmuid Kilgallen (8)
13. Tom Farrell (84)
12. Bundee Aki (120)
11. Mack Hansen (19)
10. Jack Carty (185) (C)
9. Kieran Marmion (216)
1. Denis Buckley (216)
2. Dave Heffernan (172)
3. Finlay Bealham (180)
4. Oisín Dowling (32)
5. Niall Murray (41)
6. Cian Prendergast (34)
7. Conor Oliver (48)
8. Paul Boyle (80)
16. Dylan Tierney-Martin (10)
17. Peter Dooley (6)
18. Jack Aungier (39)
19. Gavin Thornbury (69)
20. Jarrad Butler (101)
21. Caolin Blade (155)
22. Tom Daly (65)
23. Tiernan O’Halloran (209)