Elwood aims to depart with points in bag

In a night of farewells, Connacht bring the curtain down on this season’s RaboDirect Pro12 tonight when they entertain semi-finalists Glasgow Warriors at the Sportsground.

Elwood aims to depart with points in bag

The Warriors travel with a huge incentive — to become the first Scottish outfit to grab a home semi-final in the league — while Connacht have more emotional motivations, none more so than to bid farewell to the province’s favourite rugby son, coach Eric Elwood, in his final game in charge.

However, Elwood, 24 years involved as a player and coach, says he will be putting his feelings on hold until after the final whistle.

“We know it is going to be an emotional occasion, not just for me, but for the likes of Mike McCarthy, Adrian Flavin and Johnny O’Connor, but there are four points at stake and we have the chance to build on the good results of the past two seasons and achieve our targets,” he said.

Johnny O’Connor has recovered from an ankle injury to make his 146th appearance for his home province and is the only personnel change in the pack from that which drew 23-23 at Treviso last Friday.

Another retiree, Adrian Flavin, is named on the bench in what could be his 142nd appearance in seven years. In the backs, Eoin Griffin returns from injury to join Brian Murphy with Danie Poolman returning to the wing. Fetu Vainikolo is named on the right wing in his last match for Connacht.

Glasgow’s Lions pair of Stuart Hogg and Sean Maitland have been named on the bench.

CONNACHT: G Duffy (capt), D Poolman, E Griffin, B Murphy, F Vainikolo, D Parks, K Marmion, B Wilkinson, E Reynecke, R Loughney, M Swift, M McCarthy, A Browne, J O’Connor, E McKeon.

Replacements: A Flavin, R Ah You, JP Cooney, M Kearney, J Muldoon, M Fifita, P O’Donohoe, M Nikora.

GLASGOW WARRIORS: P Murchie, R Seymour, S Lamont, P Horne, DTH Van der Merwe, R Jackson, H Pyrgos, M Low, P MacArthur, J Welsh, T Swinson, T Ryder, R Harley, J Barclay, R Wilson (capt).

Replacements: D Hall, R Grant, E Kalman, J Eddie, J Strauss, N Matawalu, S Maitland, S Hogg.

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