Connacht Rugby team to play Harlequins

Eric Elwood has named the starting XV to face Harlequins in Connachts first ever Heineken Cup Clash.

The team sees three changes from the side that were defeated by Ulster in Ravenhill last Saturday. Eoin Griffin returns from a knock to take his place in the centre, a move that sees Gavin Duffy return to fullback and Tiernan O’Halloran move back to the wing. 21 year old centre Dave McSharry hangs on to the number 12 shirt after an impressive display in Ravenhill. The halfback pairing of Paul O’Donohoe and Miah Nikora is also retained.

In the pack, the front row remains the same with Adrian Flavin scrumming down between Ireland Wolfhound Brett Wilkinson and U20 World Cup winner Rodney Ah You. The second row pairing of Michael Swift and Mike McCarthy remains the same. Swift shook off a knock that saw him depart the field early last Saturday and looks set to win his 205th cap for the province. There is a new backrow with number 8 George Naoupu joined this week by John Muldoon and Ray Ofisa who both return to the starting line up. It is an experienced side with 5 centurions in the pack (Wilkinson, Flavin, McCarthy, Swift & Muldoon) along with Gavin Duffy in the backs.

The replacements see Henry Fa’afili return to the squad after a knock that kept him out of the Ulster Clash. He joins Niall O’Connor and Frank Murphy as the replacement backs, both of whom have featured in the competition previously with Ulster and the Leicester Tigers. Ethienne Reynecke, Ronan Loughney and Dylan Rogers make up the front row replacements while Dave Gannon and TJ Anderson the other replacement forwards.

Connacht XV to face Harlequins, Friday 11th November 8pm, The Twickenham Stoop:
15. Gavin Duffy (c)
14. Brian Tuohy
13. Eoin Griffin
12. Dave McSharry
11. Tiernan O’Halloran
10. Miah Nikora
9. Paul O’Donohoe
1. Brett Wilkinson
2. Adrian Flavin
3. Rodney Ah You
4. Michael Swift
5. Mike McCarthy
6. John Muldoon
7. Ray Ofisa
8. George Naoupu

16. Ethienne Reynecke
17. Ronan Loughney
18. Dylan Rogers
19. Dave Gannon
20. TJ Anderson
21. Frank Murphy
22. Niall O’Connor
23. Henry Fa’afili


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