While the senior squad travel to London for the final pool game of this season’s Heineken Cup, the Connacht Eagles will welcome Llanelli RFC to the Sportsground for round 6 of the British & Irish Cup.

Eagles Head Coach Nigel Carolan has made five personnel changes to the starting XV that lined out against Rotherham in the last round.

Following his return from a hamstring injury, Craig Ronaldson will start at outhalf. The 23-year-old former Lansdowne captain, has played in 12 senior games before Christmas in both the PRO12 and the Heineken Cup.

Frank Murphy, captain, makes up the half back pairing with Ronaldson.

Academy backs Steve Macauley and Rory Parata have both been promoted from the bench for this weekend’s game.

Up front, the pack has been boosted by the return from injury of senior lock Aly Muldowney, who partners Danny Qualter in the second row. Galway-born Aaron Conneely has been named at openside flanker.

The Eagles have won their two home games in pool 3 of the B&I Cup and will be looking to keep that record alive.

Llanelli will be confident coming off the back of their seven-try bonus point win over Bedford Blues last weekend.

Connacht Eagles v Llanelli RFC: Kick-off at the Sportsground is at 2pm on Saturday, January 18th and it’s free entry for all.

Connacht Eagles’ lineup v Llanelli RFC

15          Shane Layden
14          David Panter
13          Rory Parata
12          Conor Finn
11          Steve Macauley
10          Craig Ronaldson
9            Frank Murphy (captain)

1             Ronan Loughney
2             Dave Heffernan
3             JP Cooney
4             Danny Qualter
5             Aly Muldowney
6             Sean O’Brien
7             Aaron Conneely
8             Eoghan Masterson

Replacements (from):

16          James Rael
17          Finlay Bealham
18          Aaron McCloskey
19          Rory Moloney
20          Caolin Blade
21          Tadhg Leader
22          Brian Murphy


British & Irish Cup Fixtures

Round 1

Llanelli RFC 76 v 14 Connacht Eagles                        Sat 12th Oct 2012 KO 2pm                            Parc y Scarlets

Round 2

Connacht Eagles 27 v 25 Rotherham Titans           Sat 19th Oct 2012 KO 2.30pm                      The Sportsground

Round 3

Connacht Eagles 17 v 8 Bedford Blues                     Sat 7th Dec 2012 KO 2.30pm                       The Sportsground

Round 4

Bedford Blues 50 v 17 Connacht Eagles                   Sat 14th Dec 2012 KO 2pm                             Goldington Road

Round 5

Rotherham Titans 57 v 3 Connacht Eagles               Sat 11th Jan 2013 KO 2pm                             Clifton Lane

Round 6

Connacht Eagles v Llanelli                                          Sat 18th Jan 2013 KO 2pm                        The Sportsground



Carty makes history as Connacht tame Lions