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Muliaina named as captain - here's the Connacht team to face La Rochelle

Pat Lam makes six changes as Connacht chase a place in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals.

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

MILS MULIAINA WILL captain Connacht for the first time as they bid to book their place in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals.

Pat Lam’s side can secure one of the three runner-up spots with a win in La Rochelle on Saturday evening (5.30pm Irish).

There are four changes in the pack with Ronan Loughney, Nathan White, Andrew Browne and Eoin McKeon all starting. For only the third time this season, John Muldoon does not start and is named among the replacements instead.

In the backs, Robbie Henshaw is ruled out through injury so Danie Poolman shifts across to start at 13 outside Conor Finn, while Darragh Leader is given the nod on the right wing.

“With the rotation of John [Muldoon] and Nathan [White] just coming back from injury, Mils was the clear choice to lead the side tomorrow,” Lam said.

As someone who has captained both the All Blacks and the Chiefs, his experience and influence on and off the park will be crucial for us tomorrow in a tough environment.

“This is knock-out football already and we have prepared accordingly with a simple focus of getting the job done and reaching the last eight.”

Connacht team to face La Rochelle

15. Mils Muliaina (c)
14. Darragh Leader
13. Danie Poolman
12. Conor Finn
11. Matt Healy
10. Jack Carty
9. Kieran Marmion

1. Ronan Louhgney
2. Tom McCartney
3. Nathan White
4. Quinn Roux
5. Andrew Browne
6. Eoin McKeon
7. Willie Faloon
8. George Naoupu

Replacements

16. Dave Heffernan
17. JP Cooney
18. Finlay Bealham
19. Danny Qualter
20. John Muldoon
21. Caolin Blade
22. Miah Nikora
23. Niyi Adeolokun

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Niall Kelly

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