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Friday, 27 September 2013

Connacht Rugby, Pat Lam, Rabo Pro 12, Ospreys, Irish Rugby, Rugby Ireland, Rugby News

Connacht Rugby, Pat Lam, Rabo Pro 12, Ospreys

With Willie Faloon and Jason Harris-Wright both added to the injury list in Connacht, head coach Pat Lam has made four changes to his side as they entertain the Ospreys in Galway in the Rabo Pro12 tomorrow evening.

Sean Henry and Andrew Browne both come into the pack for the match at the Sportsground while behind the scrum former Lansdowne outhalf Craig Ronaldson will make his first start for the province.

The final change from the side beaten by Ulster last weekend sees Fionn Carr drop to the replacements bench with Danie Poolman starting on the right wing.

“Losing both Wilile and Jason was a big loss for us as a team but it presents an opportunity for other, young players to step up,” Lam said today.

“We’re looking forward to Craig’s first start at this level. He deserves his opportunity after his work in pre-season and has done well coming on from the bench in the last three games.

“Ospreys present another big challenge for us and another step up. They are four time league champions and are undefeated so far this season. They will come here full of confidence with their returning Lions’ players. We’ve had a good week training and we’re looking forward to confronting the challenge ahead.”

The Ospreys welcome British and Irish Lions tourists Adam Jones, Justin Tipuric and Alun Wyn Jones back to the fold for the trip west as they seek to keep the pressure on Glasgow at the top of the table.

“The Lions boys have been welcomed back in and have done a great job, while it’s good to see the likes of Tom Habberfield and Aaron Jarvis also involved again,” coach Steve Tandy said today.

“It makes for some very tough selections in the coming weeks, but that competition for places is exactly what we need, and will help drive standards within the group as we look forward to coming home to the Liberty for games against Ulster and Leinster on the next two weekends.”

Connacht: Gavin Duffy; Danie Poolman, Robbie Henshaw, Eoin Griffin, Matt Healy; Craig Ronaldson, Kieran Marmion; Brett Wilkinson, Sean Henry, Nathan White; Michael Swift (captain), Craig Clarke; Andrew Browne, Jake Heenan, John Muldoon. Replacements: James Rael, Rodney Ah You, Ronan Loughney, Aly Muldowney, George Naoupu, Paul O’Donohoe, Dan Parks, Fionn Carr.

Ospreys: Richard Fussell; Jeff Hassler, Ben John, Ashley Beck, Eli Walker; Dan Biggar, Tito Tebaldi; Duncan Jones, Scott Baldwin, Adam Jones, Alun Wyn Jones (captain), Ian Evans; James King, Justin Tipuric, Morgan Allen. Replacements: Richard Hibbard, Ryan Bevington, Aaron Jarvis, Tyler Ardron, Joe Bearman, Tom Habberfield, Matthew Morgan, Jonathan Spratt.