Three changes have been made to the Connacht side that will face off against the Leicester Tigers at home this Saturday.
Connacht Head Coach Andy Friend said that the similarities in play style that Leicester share with Munster have prepared them for the coming game.
Connacht secured a 10-8 victory over Munster in their last United Rugby Championship outing on New Year’s Day. No doubt it’s hoped this will be valuable experience to reverse the scoreline of their last 29-23 loss to the English side.
Three changes have been made to the side that face Munster, with two in the tight five and one new face in the back row.
Shane Delahunt is starting at hooker and Niall Murray comes into the second row. Props Matthew Burke and Finlay Bealham and lock Oisín Dowling retain their places.
Jarrad Butler is at number 8 with flankers Cian Prendergast and Conor Oliver alongside him, while Jack Carty captains the side beside scrum-half Kieran Marmion. Bundee Aki and Sammy Arnold start at 12 and 13 respectively.
The final change will see all-time record try scorer for Connacht Matt Healy making his first appearance of the season, starting on the wing with John Porch on the opposite wing and Tiernan O’Halloran at full-back.
Among the replacements is Paul Boyle who has recovered from injury to return to the matchday 23 for the first time since the end of November.
“This is a huge game and a huge opportunity for the club, but we’ve been treating this like any other game that we want to win,” Andy Friend said.
“We’ve grown as a group even in the last month since we visited Leicester, so now it’s all about executing and playing as well as I know we’re capable of.”
“We’ll no doubt miss the few extra thousand supporters who would’ve been at The Sportsground without the current restrictions, but I’m sure those lucky enough to have a ticket will make their voices heard.”
Connacht and Leicester will meet at the Sportsground this Saturday, with kick-off at 3:45pm.
The full Connacht squad for the game is:
15. Tiernan O’Halloran (197)
14. John Porch (47)
13. Sammy Arnold (26)
12. Bundee Aki (114)
11. Matt Healy (150)
10. Jack Carty (169) (C)
9. Kieran Marmion (196)
1. Matthew Burke (33)
2. Shane Delahunt (110)
3. Finlay Bealham (168)
4. Oisín Dowling (14)
5. Niall Murray (24)
6. Cian Prendergast (18)
7. Conor Oliver (30)
8. Jarrad Butler (83)
16. Dave Heffernan (153)
17. Tietie Tuimauga (2)
18. Jack Aungier (22)
19. Ultan Dillane (123)
20. Paul Boyle (63)
21. Caolin Blade (139)
22. Conor Fitzgerald (44)
23. Tom Farrell (67)