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Aki, Healy and MacGinty bolster Connacht for crucial finale against Warriors

The westerners must beat the reigning champions to seal a home semi-final.

AJ MacGinty, Niyi Adeolokun and Bundee Aki at training this week.
AJ MacGinty, Niyi Adeolokun and Bundee Aki at training this week.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

CONNACHT WILL TAKE aim at a home Pro12 semi-final berth with some of their key weapons back in place.

The western province must beat Glasgow Warriors at the Sportsground tomorrow (kick-off 3pm, TG4) to seal a top-two finish. It’s a tall order against the in-form reigning champions, but Pat Lam has been able to recall barn-storming centre Bundee Aki, the prolific Matt Healy and playmaker AJ MacGinty for the contest.

Robbie Henshaw is also reinstated to the centre having played the role of a replacement during last weekend’s loss in Italy.

Finlay Bealham keeps up his run of featuring all 28 games of this campaign, John Muldoon returns to captain the side alongside Jake Heenan and Sean O’Brien in the back row.

“Going into play off rugby, we couldn’t ask for a better challenge than playing the defending champions who are on fire at the moment,” says Lam.

“Glasgow are undefeated since February and they have threats all over the park. While there is so much at stake, we know it’s important for us is to stay focused on what has got us here in the first place.  The key now is raising all our standards and team work to yet another level over the next few weeks.”

Connacht

15. Tiernan O’Halloran
14. Niyi Adeolokun
13. Robbie Henshaw
12. Bundee Aki
11. Matt Healy
10. AJ MacGinty
9. Kieran Marmion

1. Ronan Loughney
2. Tom McCartney
3. Finlay Bealham
4. Ultan Dillane
5. Aly Muldowney
6. Sean O’Brien
7. Jake Heenan
8. John Muldoon (Capt.)

Replacements:

16. Dave Heffernan
17. JP Cooney
18. Rodney Ah You
19. Quinn Roux
20. Eoin McKeon
21. John Cooney
22. Shane O’Leary
23. Peter Robb

Glasgow Warriors

15. Stuart Hogg
14. Tommy Seymour
13. Alex Dunbar
12. Peter Horne
11. Lee Jones
10. Finn Russell
9. Ali Price

1. Gordon Reid
2. Fraser Brown
3. Sila Puafisi
4. Leone Nakarawa
5. Jonny Gray (Capt)
6. Rob Harley
7. Ryan Wilson
8. Josh Strauss

Replacements:

16. Pat MacArthur
17. Jerry Yanuyanutawa
18. Zander Fagerson
19. Tim Swinson
20. Simone Favaro
21. Grayson Hart
22. Mark Bennett
23. Sean Lamont

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