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Farrell set for debut and Irish stars return as Connacht change 5 for Dragons clash

Meanwhile, another recent signing, Steve Crosbie could make his debut from the bench.

Farrell, right, is set to make his full debut.
Farrell, right, is set to make his full debut.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

PAT LAM HAS made five changes to the Connacht team to face Newport Gwent Dragons at the Sportsground on Saturday night (7:35pm).

Following last weekend’s defeat of Cardiff Blues, Irish internationals Kieran Marmion, Finlay Bealham and Ultan Dillane all return to the starting XV, while 23-year-old centre Tom Farrell makes his full debut after signing from Bedford Blues last month.

Meanwhile, another recent signing, Steve Crosbie, could make his debut from the bench.

Ahead of the game, head coach Lam commented: “We’re all really excited to be back playing at home for the first time in five weeks. By all accounts it will be a full house here again tomorrow and that always drives us on.

We’re very aware of where we are in this competition and what we need to do. Dragons will take confidence from their victory over us in round 8 so it’s really important that we are right on the money with our mental preparation and execution of the game plan.”

Connacht team:

15. Tiernan O’Halloran
14. Niyi Adeolokun
13. Tom Farrell
12. Craig Ronaldson
11. Matt Healy
10. Jack Carty
9. Kieran Marmion

1. Denis Buckley
2. Dave Heffernan
3. Finlay Bealham
4. Ultan Dillane
5. Quinn Roux
6. Sean O’Brien
7. Jake Heenan
8. John Muldoon (captain)

Replacements:
16. Tom McCartney
17. Ronan Loughney
18. JP Cooney
19. James Cannon
20. Nepia Fox-Matamua
21. Caolin Blade
22. Steve Crosbie
23. Rory Parata

Injured / Unavailable: Conor Carey, Ivan Soroka, Conan O’Donnell, Andrew Browne, Marnitz Boshoff, Bundee Aki, Stacey Ili, Eoin Griffin, Cormac Brennan, Cian Kelleher, Darragh Leader, Josh Rowland.

Newport Gwent Dragons team

15. Tom Prydie
14. Adam Hughes
13. Tyler Morgan
12. Adam Warren
11. Pat Howard
10. Dorian Jones
9. Tavis Knoyle

1. Sam Hobbs
2. Elliot Dee
3. Brok Harris
4. Nick Crosswell
5. Rynard Landman
6. Ollie Griffiths
7. Nic Cudd
8. Lewis Evans

Replacements:

16. Darran Harris
17. Thomas Davies
18. Lloyd Fairbrother
19. Cory Hill
20. Harrison Keddie
21. Sarel Pretorius
22. Angus O’Brien
23. Sam Beard.

Referee: Nigel Owens

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