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Marmion and Carr return as Connacht take aim at Ospreys and Champions Cup

“Come 5pm tomorrow, we will know our fate.”

CONNACHT HEAD COACH Pat Lam has made three changes for tomorrow’s vital Pro12 finale against league leaders Ospreys (3pm, S4C).

Kieran Marmion comes back in at scrum-half for John Cooney, who scored twice in the 10 – 40 win away to Zebre last weekend in Parma last weekend.

Fionn Carr comes on to the right wing in place of the injured Danie Poolman and Andrew Browne is promoted from the bench to replace Ultan Dillane in the second row.

Michael Swift Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Dillane misses out on the squad completely as Lam has been able to recall Michael Swift, the league’s most experienced player will wear the number 19 jersey on a day that could  - but hopefully won’t – be his final appearance as a professional.

The Western Province go in to tomorrow’s final round of fixtures in seventh place, four points behind Scarlets in the last automatic qualification spot for the Champions Cup.

Lose, and they will have to rely on Leinster to keep them ahead of Edinburgh in seventh. Win, and they can start to wonder how Treviso are faring against Scarlets in Italy.

“Losing Darragh [Leader] and Danie [Poolman] in the same week to what is already extensive injury list was obviously a blow but with the culture of team work we have, it’s just another opportunity for the next guy to step up and do the job,” said Lam today.

Kieran Marmion kicks forward Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“We all know the enormity of this game. Since pre-season, we have set our sights on a top six finish and to be going in to round 22 with our ultimate goal still a possibility is very exciting.

“It’s uncharted waters for Connacht Rugby to have so much to play for at this stage of the season and we’re really relishing it. Come 5pm tomorrow, we will know our fate.

“We have no control over other results so all we can do is focus on winning at the Sportsground in front of our supporters to give ourselves the best possible chance of qualification and to finish the season on a massive high.”

Connacht

15. Tiernan O’Halloran
14. Fionn Carr
13. Robbie Henshaw
12. Bundee Aki
11. Matt Healy
10. Jack Carty
9. Kieran Marmion

1. Denis Buckley
2. Tom McCartney
3. Rodney Ah You
4. Andrew Browne
5. Aly Muldowney
6. John Muldoon (captain)
7. Eoghan Masterson
8. Eoin McKeon

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Replacements:

16. Dave Heffernan
17. JP Cooney
18. Finlay Bealham
19. Michael Swift
20. George Naoupu
21. John Cooney
22. Miah Nikora
23. Shane O’Leary

Ospreys

15 Dan Evans
14 Hanno Dirksen
13 Ben John
12 Josh Matavesi
11 Eli Walker
10 Dan Biggar
9 Rhys Webb

1 Nicky Smith
2 Scott Baldwin
3 Dmitri Arhip
4 Tyler Ardron
5 Alun Wyn Jones (Capt)
6 James King
7 Justin Tipuric
8 Dan Baker

Replacements:

16 Sam Parry
17 Marc Thomas
18 Aaron Jarvis
19 Rory Thornton
20 Dan Lydiate
21 Tom Habberfield
22 Sam Davies
23 Jonathan Spratt

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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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