Connacht Rugby has named their side to face Saracens in round 6 of the Heineken Cup at Allianz Park tomorrow (Kick off 13:35).

Head Coach Pat Lam has made four personnel changes to the starting XV that started last week against Zebre. Dan Parks has been named in the number 10 jersey. The veteran outhalf is 27 points shy of reaching the milestone of 500 Heineken Cup points. Mayo-born Gavin Duffy also returns to the back line this week, starting at fullback.

The second row partnership of Connacht’s highest capped player Michael Swift and captain Craig Clarke returns this week to boost the pack.

There is a reshuffle in the back row with John Muldoon moving to Number 8 in place of the injured Eoin McKeon. Andrew Brown slots in to blindside flanker while Jake Heenan remains on the openside.

Galway-born back Tiernan O’Halloran is named on the replacements bench.

Speaking about the team selection and the upcoming game, Head Coach Pat Lam said:

“This is a huge game for Connacht Rugby, we all know that. Win and we qualify for a quarter final in Europe. Big games require your big players to step up and lead the way, so it’s great to be able to call on four of our most experienced players Gavin, Dan, Swifty and Craig this week.

“We were unfortunate to lose Eoin McKeon to injury in training this week. He has had to have surgery on his hand and is likely to be out of action for up to two months. It’s a big loss to our back row resources.

“We have a lot of respect for what Saracens are achieving. They are well coached, well resourced and top of the English premiership, with an excellent stadium. They have only lost once on this new 4G surface and they have racked up a high number of points against opposition teams. If we play as individuals, it will be a long day at the office tomorrow.

Connacht line-up v Saracens

15.          Gavin Duffy
14.          Fionn Carr
13.          Robbie Henshaw
12.          Eoin Griffin
11.          Matt Healy
10.          Dan Parks
9.            Kieran Marmion

1.            Brett Wilkinson
2.            Sean Henry
3.            Nathan White
4.            Michael Swift
5.            Craig Clarke (captain)
6.            Andrew Browne
7.            Jake Heenan
8.            John Muldoon

 

Replacements: 

16. Jason Harris-Wright
17. Denis Buckley
18. Rodney Ah You
19. Mick Kearney
20. George Naoupu
21. Paul O’Donohoe
22. Darragh Leader
23. Tiernan O’Halloran

Unavailable/Injured:  Eoin McKeon, Dave Nolan, Willie Faloon, Dave McSharry, Danie Poolman, Miah Nikora, and Kyle Tonetti.

Saracens v Connacht
At Allianz Park, 1:35pm
On Sky Sports 2
Saturday, 18 January 2014; 13:35; Allianz Park; Sky Sports, Sky Italia
Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wal)
Assistant Ref: Gwyn Morris (Wal) & Greg Morgan (Wal)
TMO: Gareth Simmonds (Wal)
Citing Commissioner: Richard McGhee (Sco)

 

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