Three changes for Connacht's first home game of the season

Three changes for Connacht's first home game of the season

Connacht have made three changes for their first home Pro14 game of the season.

Following last week's eight-point loss away to Scarlets, Darragh Leader, Peter Robb, and Paul Boyle are drafted into Andy Friend's starting team as Benetton visit the Sportsground (7.35pm).

Leader and Robb come in for new signings Stephen Fitzgerald and Tom Daly in the backline, where Caolin Blade and Conor Fitzgerald continue their half-back partnership.

Boyle is the only change in the forwards, replacing Colby Fainga'a at number eight. Debutant prop Paddy McAllister, signed from Gloucester, is retained in the front-row.

Ultan Dillane and Kieran Marmion remain as replacement options, alongside potential debutant back-row Sean Masterson - a brother of starting flanker Eoghan.

For Benetton, Ian Keatley starts at out-half with fellow Dubliner Ian McKinley his deputy on the bench.

Connacht: Tiernan O’Halloran; Darragh Leader, Kyle Godwin, Peter Robb, Matt Healy; Conor Fitzgerald, Caolin Blade; Paddy McAllister, Tom McCartney, Finlay Bealham; Gavin Thornbury, Quinn Roux; Eoghan Masterson, Jarrad Butler (Capt), Paul Boyle.

Replacements: Shane Delahunt, Denis Buckley, Dominic Robertson-McCoy, Ultan Dillane, Sean Masterson, Kieran Marmion, Tom Farrell, Stephen Fitzgerald.

Benetton: Luca Sperandio; Leonardo Sarto, Joaquin Riera, Alberto Sgarbi (Capt), Monty Ioane; Ian Keatley, Luca Petrozzi; Derrick Appiah, Tomas Baravalle, Michele Mancini Parri; Niccolò Cannone, Eli Snyman; Marco Lazzaroni, Giovanni Pettinelli, Toa Halafihi.

Replacements: Engjel Makelara, Cherif Traore, Filippo Alongi, Marco Fuser, Lodovico Manni, Charly Trussardi, Ian McKinley, Ignacio Brex.

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