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Connacht make 4 changes for Guinness Pro12 trip to Wales

Stacey Ili has returned from injury to form a centre partnership with Craig Ronaldson.

Connacht head coach Pat Lam.
Connacht head coach Pat Lam.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

CONNACHT HEAD COACH Pat Lam has named his side for Sunday’s Guinness Pro12 game away to Cardiff Blues [KO 1.05pm, S4C].

The starting XV shows four changes from the western province’s most recent outing, which was last month’s agonising European Champions Cup defeat to Toulouse.

Stacey Ili has returned from injury to form a centre partnership with Craig Ronaldson at the expense of Peter Robb. The other change in the backs sees John Cooney come in at scrum-half for Kieran Marmion, who’s on the bench for Ireland’s Six Nations encounter with Italy tomorrow in Rome.

Although he hasn’t been selected to face the Azzurri, Finlay Bealham has remained in Ireland camp so he’s replaced at tighthead prop by JP Cooney. Sean O’Brien starts in the back row ahead of Nepia Fox-Matamua, who drops to the bench.

Connacht:

15. Tiernan O’Halloran
14. Niyi Adeolokun
13. Stacey Ili
12. Craig Ronaldson
11. Matt Healy
10. Jack Carty
9. John Cooney

1. Denis Buckley
2. Tom McCartney
3. JP Cooney
4. Quinn Roux
5. James Cannon
6. Sean O’Brien
7. Jake Heenan
8. John Muldoon (captain)

Replacements:

16. Dave Heffernan
17. Ronan Loughney
18. John Andress
19. Naulia Dawai
20. Nepia Fox-Matamua
21. Caolin Blade
22. Tom Farrell
23. Danie Poolman

Cardiff Blues:

15. Matthew Morgan
14. Blaine Scully
13. Rey Lee-Lo
12. Steve Shingler
11. Rhun Williams
10. Gareth Anscombe
9. Lloyd Williams (captain)

1. Rhys Gill
2. Kristian Dacey
3. Anton Peikrishvili
4. Jarrad Hoeata
5. James Down
6. Macauley Cook
7. Josh Navidi
8. Nick Williams

Replacements:

16. Matthew Rees
17. Marc Thomas
18. Scott Andrews
19. Seb Davies
20. Sion Bennett
21. Tomos Williams
22. Willis Halaholo
23. Tom James

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