With Irish internationals Tiernan O’Halloran and Kieran Marmion on a scheduled rest week, there are four enforced changes to the back line as Connacht look to make it four wins from five in the PRO12.
Ireland 7’s player Josh Rowland comes in for his first Connacht start at full-back, having made his debut from the bench against Glasgow Warriors last weekend. John Cooney starts at scrum-half while Danie Poolman comes on to the right wing.
There is a new midfield partnership as Tom Farrell starts at outside centre with Bundee Aki shifting to number 12 this week.
Up front, there is just one change with Eoin McKeon replacing Jake Heenan, who struggled to shake off a minor shin injury picked up in the last round.
Ivan Soroka, Eoghan Masterson, Caolin Blade and Eoin Griffin are all additions to the bench with Griffin in line to make his first appearance since September 2016.
Ronan Loughney, Niyi Adeolokun, and JP Cooney all picked up minor injuries in training during the week that ruled them out of selection while Naulia Dawai did not travel as he awaits a Visa renewal.
Commenting on tomorrow’s clash, head coach Pat Lam said:
“We have had to make a few changes this week due to unfortunate niggles picked up in training. But we’re going over to Parma with a clear game plan. We are fully focused on putting in a performance against Zebre that will get us the points on offer.”
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Connacht team to face Zebre
Saturday April 1st, kick off 3:30pm (2.30pm Irish Time), Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
(Connacht caps in brackets)
15 Josh Rowland (1)
14 Danie Poolman (80)
13 Tom Farrell (6)
12 Bundee Aki (56)
11 Stacey Ili (12)
10 Jack Carty (76)
9 John Cooney (36)
1 Denis Buckley (113)
2 Tom McCartney (60)
3 Finlay Bealham (77)
4 Quinn Roux (52)
5 Andrew Browne (150)
6 Sean O’Brien (35)
7 Eoin McKeon (102)
8 John Muldoon (297) (captain)
16 Dave Heffernan (80)
17 Ivan Soroka (0)
18 Dominic Robertson-McCoy (6)
19 James Cannon (13)
20 Eoghan Masterson (35)
21 Caolin Blade (40)
22 Craig Ronaldson (63)
23 Eoin Griffin (74)
Ronan Loughney, JP Cooney, Conor Carey, Ultan Dillane, Jake Heenan, Nepia Fox-Matamua, Naulia Dawai, James Connolly, Kieran Marmion, Marnitz Boshoff, Peter Robb, Matt Healy, Niyi Adeolokun, Cian Kelleher, Darragh Leader, Tiernan O’Halloran.
Referee: Mike Adamson (SRU, 6th competition game)
Assistant Referees: Graeme Wells (SRU), Emanuele Tomo (FIR)
Citing Commissioner: Roberto Carra (FIR)