Ahead of the final round of Guinness PRO12 action this season, head coach Pat Lam has made eleven changes to his side to face Munster at Thomond Park tomorrow (5:15pm, live on TG4).

Tiernan O’Halloran, who was today named on the PRO12 Dream Team of the Season, Tom Farrell, Cian Kelleher and Andrew Browne are the only players retained in the starting XV following the defeat to Scarlets six days ago.

Jack Carty and Kieran Marmion make up the half back pairing for the trip to Limerick while last week’s try scorer Craig Ronaldson is named in midfield with Farrell. Prop Conor Carey makes his return from long term injury in a new front row with Denis Buckley and Shane Delahunt.

In the back row, John Muldoon returns to captain the side and is joined by flankers Eoin McKeon and James Connolly.

Replacement prop JP Cooney will make his 50th appearance for the province if called upon from the bench tomorrow afternoon.

Commenting on the upcoming game, Pat Lam said:

“With this being our final game before the European play off, there is no question that we need an improved performance in Limerick tomorrow. With quite a few changes from last weekend, it’s an opportunity for those guys selected to drive that improvement.

“Winning only once in 29 years in Thomond Park emphasises the challenge we face tomorrow.  With the way Munster are playing as a team this season, there is no doubt that challenge has got even tougher.  

“At the end of the day it’s a derby game with a lot on the line for both teams and we’re really looking forward to it.”

Connacht team to face Munster

Saturday, May 6th, kick off 5.15pm, Thomond Park

(Connacht caps in brackets)

15        Tiernan O’Halloran (126)
14        Danie Poolman (84)
13        Tom Farrell (8)
12        Craig Ronaldson (66)
11        Cian Kelleher (12)
10        Jack Carty (79)
9          Kieran Marmion (119)

1           Denis Buckley (117)
2           Shane Delahunt (27)
3           Conor Carey (10)
4           Quinn Roux (56)
5           Andrew Browne (154)
6           Eoin McKeon (106)
7           James Connolly (22)
8           John Muldoon (301) (captain)

Replacements:

16        Dave Heffernan (83)
17        JP Cooney (49)
18        Finlay Bealham (81)
19        Sean O’Brien (38)
20        Naulia Dawai (11)
21        John Cooney (38)
22        Marnitz Boshoff (3)
23        Darragh Leader (52)

Injured/unavailable: Tom McCartney, Ronan Loughney, Ultan Dillane, Nepia Fox-Matamua, Steve Crosbie, Bundee Aki, Peter Robb, Stacey Ili, Matt Healy, Niyi Adeolokun, Josh Rowland.

MUNSTER v CONNACHT
Saturday 6th May
At Thomond Park, 5.15pm.
Live on TG4

Referee: David Wilkinson (IRFU, 51st competition game)

Did you know?

  • Connacht have won three of their last five fixtures with Munster, but did slip up 9-16 in Galway in round 12.
  • Last season Connacht won at Thomond Park for the first time since 1986.
  • Connacht have made the European Champions Cup Play-offs but their only win in the last five rounds of the Guinness PRO12 was at Edinburgh on 7 April.
  • Munster have secured a home Semi-Final for only the second time in the last seven seasons but if they are to overhaul Leinster to become top seeds they will need a win in this game and hope that their rivals trip up.
  • The Munstermen have won their last five Guinness PRO12 encounters, whilst their only defeat since round 6 was at home to Scarlets on 24 February.

 

Overall Guinness PRO12 head to head record:

Played 29, Munster won 24, Connacht won 4 and 1 game drawn.

 

MUNSTER v CONNACHT

Saturday 6th May

At Thomond Park, 5.15pm.
Live on TG4
Referee: David Wilkinson (IRFU, 51st competition game)

Assistant Referees:  TBC

Citing Commissioner:  Wayne Sheridan (IRFU)

TMO: TBC

 

HEAD TO HEAD – RECENT GUINNESS PRO12 MEETINGS
Date Venue M C Munster scorers Connacht scorers
Sat 19 Apr 14 Sportsground 32 23 Andrew Conway(T) Paddy Butler(T) Denis Hurley(T) Ian Keatley(3C/2P) Gerhard van den Heever(T) Matt Healy(T) Danie Poolman(T) Eoin McKeon(T) Dan Parks(C) Miah Nikora(2P)
Thu 1 Jan 15 Sportsground 16 24 Peter O’Mahony(T) Ian Keatley(C/3P) Kieran Marmion(T) Darragh Leader(2C) Aly Muldowney(T) Miah Nikora(P) Craig Ronaldson(T/C)
Sat 28 Mar 15 Thomond Park 42 20 Duncan Casey(T) Andrew Smith(T) Keith Earls(T) JJ Hanrahan(3C) Billy Holland(T) Denis Hurley(T) Ian Keatley(3C) Simon Zebo(T) Jack Carty(2P) Shane O’Leary(T) Miah Nikora(T/2C)
Sat 28 Nov 15 Thomond Park 12 18 Niall Scannell(T) Ian Keatley(C) Penalty Try(T) Tiernan O’Halloran(T) Bundee Aki(T) Craig Ronaldson(C/2P)
Sat 16 Apr 16 Sportsground 14 35 Johnny Holland(2C) Mike Sherry(T) Simon Zebo(T) Finlay Bealham(T) Shane O’Leary(3C/3P) Niyi Adeolokun(2T) Penalty Try(T)
Sat 31 Dec 16 Sportsground 16 9 Rhys Marshall(T) Ian Keatley(C/D/2P) Jack Carty(3P)

 

 

COMPARISON Munster Connacht
Last 3 PRO12 results: 8 Apr – Glasgow (H) W 10-7 7 Apr – Edinburgh (A) W 22-19
  15 Apr – Ulster (H) W 22-20 15 Apr – Leinster (H) L 24-37
  29 Apr – Treviso (A) W 34-14 29 Apr – Scarlets (H) L 8-30
 
PRO12 2016/17 2nd – W18 D0 L3 – 81pts 8th – W9 D0 L12 – 44pts
Last 6 PRO12 form LwwWWw (22pts) WllwLL (10pts)
Top try scorer 9 – Ronan O’Mahony 6 – Niyi Adeolokun
Top points scorer 126 – Tyler Bleyendaal 70 – Jack Carty

 

 

Ahead of Saturday’s Guinness PRO12 game away to Munster, the Connacht Rugby medical team have provided the following update.

Kieran Marmion has returned to full training and is available for selection.

Marnitz Boshoff, Cian Kelleher and Darragh Leader all came through last Saturday’s game versus Scarlets with no ill effects.

Steve Crosbie sustained an AC joint injury in the game versus Leinster and is continuing his rehabilitation.

Eoin Griffin is following GRTP protocols following a head injury sustained in the Scarlets game.

Josh Rowland sustained a foot injury in training last week and will be out of action for a number of weeks.

Munster v Connacht
At Thomond Park, 5.15pm.
Live on TG4 
Referee: David Wilkinson (IRFU, 51st competition game)
Assistant Referees:  TBC
Citing Commissioner:  Wayne Sheridan (IRFU)
TMO: TBC

 

 

Ahead of Connacht’s final Guinness PRO12 home game this season, head coach Pat Lam has made ten changes to his side to face Scarlets at the Sportsground tomorrow night (7:35pm).

Darragh Leader, who this week signed a new deal with his home province, will start on the right wing for his first game in 18 months having returned from long-term injury.  On the other wing, Cian Kelleher also returns following a long-term absence this season with injury.

Tom Farrell and Eoin Griffin make up a new centre partnership while Marnitz Boshoff is handed the reins at outhalf, with Caolin Blade starting in the number nine shirt.

Up front, Ireland international Finlay Bealham shifts to loosehead prop to allow Dominic Robertson-McCoy pack down at tighthead. James Cannon forms a second-row partnership with Andrew Browne who captains the side on Saturday night.

Sean O’Brien and Eoghan Masterson are promoted to the starting back row where they join Jake Heenan.

Commenting on the upcoming game, Pat Lam said:

“With Champions Cup being our main focus, the next two games present a great opportunity to prepare for the qualification playoffs in May. It allows us to give guys coming back from long-term injuries a chance to perform against a quality Scarlets side.

“Tomorrow night is our last PRO12 game at home and as always, we will be looking to put in a huge effort for us and our supporters who have been fantastic all season.”

Connacht team to face Scarlets

Saturday, April 29th, kick off 7.35pm, the Sportsground

(Connacht caps in brackets)

15        Tiernan O’Halloran (125)
14        Darragh Leader (51)
13        Tom Farrell (7)
12        Eoin Griffin (77)
11        Cian Kelleher (11)
10        Marnitz Boshoff (2)
9          Caolin Blade (43)

1          Finlay Bealham (80)
2          Dave Heffernan (82)
3          Dominic Robertson-McCoy (9)
4          James Cannon (15)
5          Andrew Browne (153) (captain)
6          Sean O’Brien (37)
7          Jake Heenan (52)
8          Eoghan Masterson (36)

Replacements:

16        Shane Delahunt (26)
17        Denis Buckley (116)
18        JP Cooney (48)
19        Quinn Roux (55)
20        John Muldoon (300)
21        John Cooney (37)
22        Craig Ronaldson (65)
23        Danie Poolman (83)

Injured/unavailable: Tom McCartney, Ronan Loughney, Conor Carey, Ultan Dillane, Nepia Fox-Matamua, Kieran Marmion, Steve Crosbie, Bundee Aki, Peter Robb, Stacey Ili, Matt Healy, Niyi Adeolokun.

CONNACHT v SCARLETS
Saturday 29th April
At the Sportsground, 7.35pm.
Live on TG4 / S4C

Get your match ticket for Connacht v Scarlets here

Referee:  Mike Adamson (SRU, 7th competition game)
Assistant Referees: Lloyd Linton (SRU), Helen O’Reilly (IRFU)
Citing Commissioner:  Murray Whyte (IRFU)
TMO: Charles Samson (SRU)

 

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