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Friday 27 January 2023 Dublin: 3°C
# Team news
Eight changes for Lam's Connacht as Kiss hands out Ulster chances
The westerners have an all-new halfback pairing and a completely-changed front row.

CONNACHT COACH PAT Lam has made eight changes to the side that beat Munster last weekend ahead of tomorrow’s Guinness Pro12 meeting with Cardiff at Arms Park (KO 7.05pm, TG4).

Pat Lam James Crombie / INPHO Lam has made eight changes. James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

Robbie Henshaw misses out with a broken hand, meaning Darragh Leader comes into the team on the right wing as Tiernan O’Halloran moves to fullback.

Jack Carty and Ian Porter take over as the halfback pairing, with Keiran Marmion shifting to the bench, while there is a completely new front row in the shape of Ronan Loughney, Dave Heffernan and Ireland international Rodney Ah You.

Quinn Roux makes his return from injury in the second row, replacing Ultan Dillane, while Eoin McKeon is in at number eight with Eoghan Masterson out injured. Loosehead prop Denis Buckley is another sidelined with injury for this Cardiff clash.

The Connacht bench includes highly-promising youngsters Rory Parata, Peter Robb, Sean O’Brien and Conan O’Donnell.

The province also confirmed that out-half AJ MacGinty, who made his Pro12 debut against Munster, has undergone knee surgery and is facing three to four weeks of recovery. MacGinty’s injury means Connacht now have 15 players sidelined.

Meanwhile, Ulster director of rugby Les Kiss has handed starts to exciting wing Rory Scholes and Ireland international centre Luke Marshall in tomorrow’s important league meeting with Edinburgh at Kingspan Stadium (KO 7.35pm, BBC NI).

Rory Scholes Craig Thomas / INPHO Scholes is in on the Ulster wing. Craig Thomas / INPHO / INPHO

Rory Best is replaced as captain and hooker by Rob Herring, who signed a new two-year deal with the province earlier this week. Ricky Lutton makes his first Pro12 start of the season in a front row that also includes Kyle McCall.

Iain Henderson continues at blindside flanker, while promising lock Alan O’Connor could make his first appearance of the season from the bench.

Connacht (v Cardiff):

15. Tiernan O’Halloran
14. Darragh Leader
13. Bundee Aki
12. Craig Ronaldson
11. Matt Healy
10. Jack Carty
9. Ian Porter

1. Ronan Loughney
2. Dave Heffernan
3. Rodney Ah You
4. Quinn Roux
5. Aly Muldowney
6. John Muldoon (captain)
7. James Connolly
8. Eoin McKeon

Replacements:

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16. Jason Harris-Wright
17. Conan O’Donnell
18. Finlay Bealham
19. George Naoupu
20. Sean O’Brien
21. Kieran Marmion
22. Peter Robb
23. Rory Parata

Ulster (v Edinburgh):

15. Peter Nelson
14. Andrew Trimble
13. Darren Cave
12. Luke Marshall
11. Rory Scholes
10. Paddy Jackson
9. Ruan Pienaar

1. Kyle McCall
2. Rob Herring (captain)
3. Ricky Lutton
4. Dan Tuohy
5. Franco van der Merwe
6. Iain Henderson
7. Chris Henry
8. Roger Wilson

Replacements:

16. John Andrew
17. Andrew Warwick
18. Wiehahn Herbst
19. Alan O’Connor
20. Nick Williams
21. Paul Marshall
22. Stuart McCloskey
23. Louis Ludik

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