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Dublin: 17 °C Friday 20 September, 2019
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Ireland release Henshaw, Bealham and Dillane for Connacht's vital clash with Scarlets

Liam Williams is back for the league-leading Scarlets’ trip to Galway.

Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

CONNACHT HAVE BEEN handed a huge boost ahead of tomorrow’s Pro12 meeting (15.00, Sky Sports) with league-leading Scarlets as Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt has released three of the western province’s players for the game, including Robbie Henshaw.

Henshaw will start outside Bundee Aki in the centre with Jack Carty taking the reins to partner scrum-half Caolin Blade.

In the pack, Jake Heenan continues his comeback after two league starts this year. He will provide a serious turnover threat the back row alongside captain John Muldoon and Eoghan Masterson.

Finlay Bealham and lock Ultan Dillane are the uncapped men released by Schmidt, Bealham will slot straight in to the front row with Dillane taking a seat among the replacements.

Ultan Dillane Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Connacht narrowly missed out on a Champions Cup qualification place last season, edged out as the Scarlets went on an impressive late-season surge. The Welsh region currently top the Pro12. Yet sitting just five points behind and having lost 21 – 19 in Llanelli early this month, Pat Lam’s men have no shortage of incentive to put on a show at the Sportsground.

“We know from our meeting with them last month that it will probably be a closely-fought contest once again and we will have to bring that clinical edge that was on show last week if we are to come on top,” says Lam.

“We are back at home on a Saturday afternoon for the second week in a row and we’re really looking forward to playing in front of a packed out Sportsground before we take a short break. A win would keep us in the ‘top four’ where we have been all season and would sign off this block of 16 consecutive games very nicely for us and our supporters.”

Scarlets have been boosted by internationals of their own, with fullback Liam Williams set to play his first Scarlets game since May.

Connacht

15. Tiernan O’Halloran
14. Danie Poolman
13. Robbie Henshaw
12. Bundee Aki
11. Matt Healy
10. Jack Carty
9. Caolin Blade

1. Denis Buckley
2. Tom McCartney
3. Finlay Bealham
4. George Naoupu
5. Aly Muldowney
6. John Muldoon (Capt)
7. Jake Heenan
8. Eoghan Masterson

Replacements:

16. Dave Heffernan
17. Ronan Loughney
18. Rodney Ah You
19. Ultan Dillane
20. James Connolly
21. Ian Porter
22. Craig Ronaldson
23. Rory Parata

Scarlets

15. Liam Williams
14. Tom Williams
13. Gareth Owen
12. Hadleigh Parkes (Capt)
11 DTH van der Merwe
10 Aled Thomas
9 Rhodri Williams

1 Phil John
2 Ryan Elias
3 Rhodri Jones
4 Tom Price
5 Lewis Rawlins
6 Aaron Shingler
7 Will Boyde
8 Morgan Allen

Replacements:

16. Kirby Myhill
17. Dylan Evans
18. Peter Edwards
19. Jack Jones
20. Tom Phillips
21. Connor Lloyd
22. Steven Shingler
23. Michael Collins

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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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