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Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 23 October, 2018
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Injury-ravaged Connacht make 4 changes ahead of meeting with table toppers Munster

The western province will be looking for an improved performance after losing to Ulster last weekend.

Lam's side sit in eight place in the table.
Lam's side sit in eight place in the table.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

CHAMPIONS CONNACHT HAVE made four changes to the side that lost to Ulster, as they prepare to welcome league leaders Munster to Galway tomorrow evening in the Guinness Pro12 [KO 5.30pm, TG4].

Peter Robb returns for the New Year’s Eve clash and will start in the centre with Rory Parata in an otherwise unchanged backline.

Hooker Tom McCartney is welcomed back to Pat Lam’s side, and will captain the western province in the place of John Muldoon, who misses the game through injury.

Naulia Dawai will make his first start for Connacht at Number 8, with Nepia Fox-Matamua moving to blindside flanker to pave the way for the returning Jake Heenan.

New recruit John Andress is named on the bench after the prop agreed a short-term contract, as Lam trues to manage numerous injury setbacks to his squad.

“With over half of our senior squad unavailable through injury and more players going down this week either with injury or sickness, it’s been another incredibly challenging week,” the head coach said ahead of the game.

“We know it’s going to be very tough against Munster but despite the setbacks we have confidence in the players left standing.

“Being back at home in a sold out Sportsground for the last game of 2016 also helps the situation we are in.  We have a lot of respect for top-of-the-table side Munster and what they are achieving this season.

“They are without a doubt the form team of the PRO12 championship. It’s going to take a massive team effort against them tomorrowbut we’re looking forward to the significant challenge in front of us.”

Connacht:

15. Tiernan O’Halloran
14. Niyi Adeolokun
13. Rory Parata
12. Peter Robb
11. Matt Healy
10. Jack Carty
9. Kieran Marmion

1. Denis Buckley
2. Tom McCartney (captain)
3. Finlay Bealham
4. Quinn Roux
5. James Cannon
6. Nepia Fox-Matamua
7. Jake Heenan
8. Naulia Dawai

Replacements:
16. Dave Heffernan
17. JP Cooney
18. John Andress
19. Lewis Stevenson
20. Danny Qualter
21. Caolin Blade
22. Ciaran Gaffney
23. Rory Moloney

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