Connacht boosted by Tonetti's return for formidable test

Fri, Feb 8, 2013, 00:00

Kyle Tonetti will earn his first start for Connacht this season following a lengthy battle with a hamstring injury. The 25-year-old has recovered fully and has been playing with his club Lansdowne over the last number of weeks.

He will partner outside centre Eoin Griffin. The half back pairing of Dan Parks and Kieran Marmion remains.

Mick Kearney steps into the second row for Irish lock Mike McCarthy. Eoin McKeon returned from injury last week and starts at number eight joining flankers Andrew Browne and Johnny O’Connor in the back row.

Tiernan O’Halloran comes into fullback for Robbie Henshaw who is with the Irish squad.

Following their 40-19 win last weekend in the LV=Cup against a strong Leicester Tigers team, the Scarlets have been further boosted by some players returning from injury while they also welcome back Welsh international back-row Josh Turnbull.

LLANELLIi: G Owen; A Fenby, N Reynolds, A Warren, K Phillips; O Williams, A Davies; P John, E Phillips, S Lee, G Earle, J Synman, J McCusker (capt), J Turnbull, K Murphy.

CONNACHT: T O’Halloran; D Poolman, E Griffin, K Tonetti, F Vainkolo; D Parks, K Marmion; B Wilkinson, J Harris-Wright, N White (c), M Swift, M Kearney, A Browne, J O’Connor, E McKeon. Referee: Matteo Liperini (FIR) Verdict: Llanelli

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