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Boost for Connacht as former All Black Muliaina returns for Cardiff trip
However, the province are still without Nathan White, Kieran Marmion, Bundee Aki and Willie Faloon.

CONNACHT HEAD COACH Pat Lam has been handed a notable boost ahead of Friday’s visit to the Cardiff Blues [KO 19.35, TG4], with Mils Muliaina and Darragh Leader both available for selection.

Mils Muliaina celebrates with fans James Crombie / INPHO Muliaina is available again after injury. James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

Former All Blacks fullback Muliaina has missed the province’s three most recent matches but has now returned to full training after recovering from a hamstring injury.

Meanwhile, Leader missed last weekend’s comprehensive Guinness Pro12 win over Treviso due to a knee problem. The 21-year-old fullback/wing has similarly returned to training, however, and is also available to face the Blues.

Less positively, experienced tighthead prop Nathan White is struggling with a calf injury and will miss the trip to Cardiff Arms Park, having withdrawn from the recent wins over the Dragons and Treviso at late stages.

Niyi Adeolokun has also been ruled out after suffering a medial ligament sprain in his knee last weekend. The grade one injury will keep the pacy wing sidelined for three to four weeks.

Number eight Eoghan Masterson has come through a knock to the head and slight shoulder issue well, meaning he is likely to be available to Lam this weekend.

However, the head coach will again be without Kieran Marmion [shoulder], Bundee Aki [ankle], Eoin McKeon [sternum], and Willie Faloon [shoulder] in Cardiff. Connacht say they are hopeful that influential quartet will be fit again in time to face Munster on 28 March.

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Kieran Marmion and Niyi Adeolokun James Crombie / INPHO Marmion and Adeolokun are both sidelined this weekend. James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

Connacht currently lie sixth in the Pro12 table, six points above Champions Cup qualification rivals the Scarlets.

The Welsh region welcome Leinster to Parc y Scarlets on Saturday evening [KO 17.15, Sky Sports], when Lam will hope for a favour from his inter-provincial rivals.

Originally published at 14.38

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