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21-year-old academy man Parata at 13 again as Connacht visit champions Glasgow

John Cooney comes into Pat Lam’s starting XV in place of Kieran Marmion.

PAT LAM HAS made just one change to his starting XV as Connacht prepare for tomorrow evening’s clash with Guinness Pro12 champions Glasgow at Scotstoun (KO 19.35, TG4).

John Cooney, so impressive in the second half of last season, comes into the team at scrum-half, with Kieran Marmion on the bench after missing training this week due to a hip injury.

Rory Parata Rory Parata retains the 13 shirt. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

21-year-old academy centre Rory Parata retains the 13 shirt for Lam’s side after starting there in last weekend’s opening day 29-23 win over the Dragons in Galway.

Australia native Parata, whose father hails from New Zealand and whose mother is from Cork, previously impressed at schools rugby level with Rockwell College, before making the move to Connacht to join their academy and starring for the province’s A side.

With Robbie Henshaw away on World Cup duty, the ex-Ireland U19 international continues alongside Bundee Aki in midfield.

Left wing Matt Healy has shaken off bruising in his left quad to start again this weekend.

Gregor Townsend’s Glasgow, who have 20 players away on World Cup duty, have handed a debut to Junior Bulumakau, who formerly played for the British Army XV and Heriot’s in the Scottish domestic league.

The experienced Mike Blair gets his first start for the club since joining over the summer, partnering fellow new face Rory Clegg in the halfbacks.

Connacht:

15. Tiernan O’Halloran
14. Danie Poolman
13. Rory Parata
12. Bundee Aki
11. Matt Healy
10. Jack Carty
9. John Cooney

1. Denis Buckley
2. Tom McCartney
3. Rodney Ah You
4. Quinn Roux
5. Andrew Browne
6. John Muldoon (captain)
7. Nepia Fox-Matamua
8. Eoghan Masterson

Replacements:

16. Dave Heffernan
17. JP Cooney
18. Finlay Bealham
19. Ultan Dillane
20. Ben Marshall
21. Kieran Marmion
22. Craig Ronaldson
23. Fionn Carr

Glasgow:

15. Glenn Bryce
14. Junior Bulumakau
13. Peter Murchie (captain)
12. Fraser Lyle
11. Lee Jones
10. Rory Clegg
9. Mike Blair

1. Alex Allan
2. Pat MacArthur
3. Mike Cusack
4. Scott Cummings
5. Kieran Low
6. Rob Harley
7. Chris Fusaro
8. Adam Ashe

Replacements:

16. Kevin Bryce
17. Jerry Yanuyanutawa
18. Zander Fagerson
19. James Eddie
20. Tyrone Holmes
21. Hugh Blake
22. Grayson Hart
23. Scott Wight

Referee: Ian Davies (WRU).

- This article was updated at 14.05 to alter Rory Parata’s place of birth from New Zealand to Australia.

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Murray Kinsella

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