Ireland internationals Niyi Adeolokun, Ultan Dillane and Matt Healy have all returned from injury to feature in Connacht’s match day squad for the Champions Cup play-off semi-final clash with Northampton Saints tomorrow (4pm).
Head coach Pat Lam has made seven personnel changes for the knockout game in Franklin’s Gardens.
Adeolokun starts on the right wing while Danie Poolman moves in to partner Craig Ronaldson for a rare start in the centres.
Dave Heffernan and Finlay Bealham are both promoted to the front row in a week that also saw them named in Joe Schmidt’s Ireland squad for the Summer Tour.
Sean O’Brien and Jake Heenan start in the back row with captain John Muldoon at number 8.
Ruled out through injury since February, Dillane and Healy are both in line to make an appearance from the bench tomorrow.
Commenting on tomorrow’s game, head coach Pat Lam said:
“Everything over the past few weeks has been geared towards this game. We know we haven’t been anywhere near our best in the last few matches and that’s been a big disappointment for us as a team. We’ve had a very positive week on and off the training pitch but we all know that the eighty plus minutes from 4pm tomorrow is when it needs to count.”
Connacht team to face Northampton Saints
Saturday, May 20th, kick off 4pm, Franklin’s Gardens
15 Tiernan O’Halloran
14 Niyi Adeolokun
13 Danie Poolman
12 Craig Ronaldson
11 Cian Kelleher
10 Jack Carty
9 Kieran Marmion
1 Denis Buckley
2 Dave Heffernan
3 Finlay Bealham
4 Quinn Roux
5 Andrew Browne
6 Sean O’Brien
7 Jake Heenan
8 John Muldoon (captain)
16 Shane Delahunt
17 JP Cooney
18 Conor Carey
19 Ultan Dillane
20 Naulia Dawai
21 Caolin Blade
22 John Cooney
23 Matt Healy
Injured/unavailable: Eoin Griffin, Tom McCartney, Ronan Loughney, Nepia Fox-Matamua, Shane O’Leary, Bundee Aki, Peter Robb, Stacey Ili, Tom Farrell, Josh Rowland.
Northampton Saints v Connacht Rugby
Saturday May 20th
Kick off 4pm
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Live on TG4