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Ireland call-ups hit Connacht as they look to bounce back from Exeter defeat

The Westerners face Pro12 leaders Ospreys on Friday.

Robbie Henshaw will join up with the Irish squad today.
Robbie Henshaw will join up with the Irish squad today.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

CONNACHT WILL BE without their five Irish call-ups as they prepare to make the trip to Wales to face Guinness Pro12 leaders Ospreys on Friday evening.

The Westerner’s blistering start to the season came to an abrupt halt at the weekend as they were blown away by Exeter Chiefs in the European Challenge Cup.

It was just their second defeat of the season but Pat Lam must now plan for the weeks ahead devoid of the services of Robbie Henshaw, Kieran Marmion, Darragh Leader, Nathan White and Rodney Ah You as they join up with Joe Schmidt’s panel for the November internationals.

Connacht currently lie fifth in the Pro12 standings but will come up against an Ospreys side who have won six from six thus far. They were, however, on the receiving end of a heavy defeat in the European Champions Cup as they went down 34-6 to Northampton.

There was mixed news for Lam on the injury front as his squad began preparations for their trip to the Liberty Stadium on Bank Holiday Monday.

Prop Ronan Loughney, who came off after 50 minutes at Sandy Park, will undergo a scan on his ankle today. However, he is expected to be sidelined for 2-3 weeks.

Aly Muldowney is also a doubt for the game after presenting delayed concussion symptoms at training on Monday. The second-row will now undergo the standard return-to-pay protocols under the guidance of the medical staff.

Matt Healy and Dave McSharry will, however, be fit after missing the game against Exeter with minor knocks while Academy player Ciaran Gaffney suffered concussion in the Eagles’ win over London Scottish.

Pat Lam will announce his team on Thursday.

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Ryan Bailey

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