Lam makes changes for Connacht’s trip to Ospreys

Four alterations for Rabo Pro12 match

Connacht’s season has petered out rather anti-climactically, a run of four defeats following a four-match winning sequence which in turn has seen them drop to ninth in the table and 16 points off sixth-placed Scarlets.

There’s still the carrot of aiming for a record-equalling high finish of eighth place with a win here.

Coach Pat Lam has made four changes to the side which lost at home last week to Cardiff, with Denis Buckley recalled at loosehead (Ronan Loughney switching to tighthead) and 23-year-old hooker Dave Heffernan making his first start for the province in place of the injured Jason Harris-Wright.

Andrew Browne is restored at blindside, with captain John Muldoon switching to number eight.

Dave McSharry comes in at inside centre, with Eoin Griffin moving back to number 13 in place of Robbie Henshaw, who is named on the bench.

OSPREYS: S Davies; H Dirksen, A Beck, A Bishop, J Hassler, D Biggar, T Habberfield; N Smith, S Baldwin, A Jarvis, A Wyn Jones (capt), I Evans, S Lewis, J Tipuric, D Baker. Replacements: S Otten, M Thomas, A Jones, T Ardron, J Bearman, T Tebaldi, J Spratt, A Natoga.
CONNACHT: D Leader; D Poolman, E Griffin, D McSharry, M Healy; M Nikora, K Marmion; D Buckley, D Heffernan, R Loughney, A Muldowney, M Kearney, A Browne, C Gilsenan, J Muldoon (capt). Replacements: J Dinneen, F Beahlam, R Ah You, M Swift, E McKeon, C Blade, D Parks, R Henshaw.
Referee: Andrew McMenemy (SRU).
Betting : 1/20 Ospreys, 35/1 Draw, 8/1 Connacht. Handicap odds (Connacht +17pts) 10/11 Ospreys, 25/1 Draw, 10/11 Connacht.
Verdict: Ospreys

Gerry Thornley

Gerry Thornley

Gerry Thornley is Rugby Correspondent of The Irish Times

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