Billy Stickland/INPHO Jason Harris-Wright is set to make his injury comeback
# Line-up
Lam shuffles pack for Connacht's Challenge Cup opener
There are no new injury concerns for the Westerners this weekend.

CONNACHT WILL BE hoping to transfer their fine domestic form onto the European stage this weekend but Pat Lam has made six changes to his side for the clash with La Rochelle at the Sportsground.

The Westerners are flying high in the Pro12 after an impressive start to the season but after a bruising 9-6 win over Treviso last Friday, Lam has opted to shuffle his pack for the visit of the Top 14 side.

All in all, there are five changes in the pack from that victory in Italy with hooker Jason Harris-Wright set to make his first appearance of the season after completing his comeback from shoulder reconstruction injury in May.

The former Leinster man is joined in the front-row by Ronan Loughney and Nathan White while Aly Muldowney is named in the second row for his third start of the season.

It was confirmed earlier this week that Michael Swift, the club’s most-capped player, would be sidelined for up to three weeks with Eoin McKeon reverting to the number eight berth.

There is just one change to a back-line with an average age of just 23. Danie Poolman is given the opportunity from the outset on the right wing with Niyi Adeolokun dropping to the bench.

“As people will see, we’ve backed up our desire to perform and compete in this European competition with a strong team selected. This is a great opportunity to test ourselves against different opposition and continue to build as a team,” Lam said.

“With the physical challenge expected from La Rochelle, it was an opportune time to rotate our front rowers and make some changes to the pack. Once again, it’s a very young back line but these guys have been performing week in week out and have contributed greatly to a good start to our season.”


15. Darragh Leader

14. Danie Poolman

13. Robbie Henshaw

12. Craig Ronaldson

11. Matt Healy

10. Jack Carty

9. Kieran Marmion

1. Ronan Loughney

2. Jason Harris-Wright

3. Nathan White

4. Quinn Roux

5. Aly Muldowney

6. John Muldoon (capt)

7. Willie Faloon

8. Eoin McKeon


16 Dave Heffernan

17. Denis Buckley

18. Rodney Ah You

19. Andrew Browne

20. George Naoupu

21. Ian Porter

22. Dave McSharry

23. Niyi Adeolokun.

La Rochelle:

15. Arthur Cestaro

14. Lancelot Luteau,

13. Kini Murimurivalu

12. Albert VuliVuli

11. Damien Cler

10. Hamish Gard

9. Jules Lebail

1. Mike Corbel

2. Benjamin Geledan

3. Vincent Pelo

4. Romana Graham

5. Jacobus Grobler

6. Nicolas Djebaili (capt.)

7. Benoit Guyot

8. Loann Goujon.


16. Rassie Jansen van Vuuren

17. Jordan Seneca

18. Benoit Bourrust

19. Zeno Kieft

20. Leo Cedaro

21 Julien Berger

22. Charles Lagarde

23. Charles Bouldoire

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