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Connacht welcome back Ireland internationals for Ospreys test

The reigning Pro12 champions host their Welsh opponents at the Sportsground tomorrow.

Kieran Marmion and Tiernan O’Halloran return.
Kieran Marmion and Tiernan O’Halloran return.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

TIERNAN O’HALLORAN AND Kieran Marmion are back in the Connacht team for Saturday’s Pro12 fixture with Ospreys.

Pat Lam’s side, who began their title defence with a 41-5 defeat at the hands of Glasgow Warriors last weekend, host the Welsh club at the Sportsground tomorrow evening (7.45pm).

Irish internationals O’Halloran and Marmion return to the backline as part of four changes, with Ronan Loughney coming into the front row and James Connelly getting the nod in the back row.

“Following a few injuries and knocks from last week, we’ve obviously made some changes to the starting team for tomorrow,” said head coach Lam.

With Caolin (Blade) and Cian (Kelleher) unable to train fully all week, it’s fortunate that we’re able to bring in the experience of Connacht centurions Kieran (Marmion) and Tiernan (O’Halloran).

“Ospreys will be another big challenge for us and will come here determined and confident after their impressive win over Zebre in round 1. It’s been a tough week with a lot of honesty and learnings for us as a team.

“I have no doubt that with another game under our belt, we will see a big improvement tomorrow.”

Ospreys, who got off to a winning start over Zebre a week ago, hand Bradley Davies his first competitive start.

Connacht (v Ospreys)

15. Tiernan O’Halloran
14. Niyi Adeolokun
13. Eoin Griffin
12. Bundee Aki
11. Matt Healy
10. Jack Carty
9. Kieran Marmion

1. Ronan Loughney
2. Tom McCartney
3. Finlay Bealham
4. Ultan Dillane
5. Daniel Qualter
6. Eoin McKeon
7. James Connolly
8. John Muldoon (captain)

Replacements:

16. Dave Heffernan
17. Dominic Robertson-McCoy
18. JP Cooney
19. Lewis Stevenson
20. Rory Moloney
21. Caolin Blade
22. Shane O’Leary
23. Danie Poolman

Ospreys (v Connacht)

15. Dan Evans
14. Jeff Hassler
13. Ben John
12. Josh Matavesi
11. Eli Walker
10. Sam Davies
9. Rhys Webb (captain)

1. Nicky Smith
2. Sam Parry
3. Dmitri Arhip
4. Bradley Davies
5. Rory Thornton
6. Olly Cracknell
7. Justin Tipuric
8. Tyler Ardron

Replacements: 

16. Scott Baldwin
17. Paul James
18. Ma’afu Fia
19. Lloyd Ashley
20. James King
21. Dan Baker
22. Tom Habberfield
23. Dafydd Howells

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