Unbeaten Connacht face unbeaten Glasgow

Two of the three Pro12 sides who have won their opening matches face each other

Former Munster lock James Downey has signed a two-year deal with Glasgow. Photograph: Inpho.

Former Munster lock James Downey has signed a two-year deal with Glasgow. Photograph: Inpho.

 

Glasgow v Connacht

Scotstoun Stadium, 7.35pm

Ospreys, Glasgow and Connacht have won their opening three games. Tonight’s meeting will change that number with Pat Lam again facing into an evening against one of the strongest teams in the league.

Undeterred following last week’s win against Leinster, Connacht will see Glasgow as a similarly stiff challenge. They last beat the Scottish side in Galway in 2011.

Hoping he might change that, Lam has brought in some fresh bodies.

Kieran Marmion has been rested with Ian Porter coming in at scrumhalf. Michael Swift, George Naoupu, Rodney Ah You and Eoin McKeon join the pack with Dannie Poolman recovering from illness to take his place on the right wing.

“There is no doubt that this will be one of our toughest games of the season,” said Lam. “With Gregor Townsend, Glasgow are a well-coached side and not many teams can go to Scotstoun and take a win from them. But we have taken a lot of encouragement from the last three tight games.”

Physical presence

Townsend is able to field Al Kellock after shoulder surgery. The lock comes in for his first game since the Pro12 final, while former Munster centre James Downey, who signed a two-year deal with Glasgow, provides a physical presence at inside centre.

 

Downey will want to make an impression after being cut loose by Anthony Foley as Townsend changes almost half his team after last week’s win. Again Connacht will be robustly challenged by a Glasgow side veined with quality and are underdogs. But what’s new there?

GLASGOW: S Hogg; S Lamont, M Bennett, J Downey, DTH van der Merwe; D Weir, H Pyrgos; G Reid, P MacArthur, E Murray, T Swinson, A Kellock, R Harley, C Fusaro, A Ashe. Replacements: K Bryce, J Yanuyanutawa, R de Klerk, T Ryder, J Eddie, M MccConnell, F Russell, T Seymour.

CONNACHT: D Leader; D Poolman, R Henshaw, D McSharry, M Healy; J Carty, I Porter; D Buckley, D Heffernan, R Ah You, M Swift, A Muldowney, J Muldoon, E McKeon, G Naoupu. Replacements: S Delahunt, R Loughney, N White, Q Roux, M Kearney, J Cooney, C Ronaldosn, F Carr.

Referee: C Blessano (FIR).

Form guide: Glasgow: WWW. Connacht: WWW. Betting: Home: (-12.0) 10/11, Draw (-12.0) 25/1. Away (+12.0) 10/11. Ticket prices: £5-£30. Verdict: Glasgow

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