Connacht make three changes for Ospreys clash

Pat Lam gives Naulia Dawai his first start as they look to recover from loss to Munster

Naulia Dawai will make his first Connacht start in their Pro12 clash with Ospreys. Photo: Inpho

Naulia Dawai will make his first Connacht start in their Pro12 clash with Ospreys. Photo: Inpho

 

Pat Lam has made three changes to his Connacht team to face Ospreys in the Pro12 tomorrow.

With Kieran Marmion rested this week, scrum half John Cooney makes a timely return from injury to start in an otherwise unchanged backline.

Up front, the back row is changed with the introduction of Sean O’Brien at blindside flanker and Naulia Dawai at number eight for his first Connacht start.

Tom McCartney will captain the side in the absence of John Muldoon who had, up to now, started every game this season but was ruled out this week with a hamstring injury.

From the bench, Galway man Eoin McKeon is in line to make his 100th Connacht appearance if he is called upon in Wales tomorrow afternoon.

“There is real excitement in the camp as we face another great challenge away to Ospreys who are flying high in the Pro12 championship,” Lam said.

“They have one of the best all-round games as well as the most successful record at home this season, highlighted by their 29 points earned out of a possible 30.

“Our focus remains on improving our game and if we can nail our execution and detail, it will give us a great chance of challenging for the points on offer.”

Connacht team and replacements to face Ospreys, Guinness Pro12, Saturday January 7th (kick off: 1.30pm), Liberty Stadium, live on Sky Sports 1:

Tiernan O’Halloran, Niyi Adeolokun, Rory Parata, Peter Robb, Matt Healy, Jack Carty, John Cooney; Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney (c), Finlay Bealham, Quinn Roux, James Cannon, Sean O’Brien, Jake Heenan, Naulia Dawai.

Replacements: Dave Heffernan, JP Cooney, John Andress, Lewis Stevenson, Eoin McKeon, Caolin Blade, Danie Poolman, Ciaran Gaffney.

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