Fanning and Loughney in for Connacht

Connacht coach Eric Elwood has announced his side for Friday night’s Amlin Challenge Cup game against Harlequins at the Sportsgrounds (kick-off 7pm).

Connacht coach Eric Elwood has announced his side for Friday night’s Amlin Challenge Cup game against Harlequins at the Sportsgrounds (kick-off 7pm).

There are two changes to the side which lost 20-9 to the same opposition last weekend with ex-St Mary’s College winger Darragh Fanning replacing Brian Tuohy on the wing while Ronan Loughney comes in for Brett Wilkinson at loosehead prop.

Ian Keatly, who may be heading to Munster next season according to reports, continues in his unfamiliar role at outside centre with young Kiwi fly half Miah Nikora continuing in the crucial playmakers position.

John Muldoon will lead the side from number eight although having lost two games in the pool stages thus far, Connacht’s chances of qualification are slim at best.

Meanwhile, Harlequins have named their side that will travel to Galway.

England international scrum-half Danny Care returns form a one-game suspension to partner former All Black outhalf Nick Evans at half-back.

Tom Guest, who was man-of-the-match in last weekend’s game, forms a powerful backrow with current England number eight Nick Easter and skipper Chris Robshaw.

Connacht (v Harlequins): Gavin Duffy; Darragh Fanning, Ian Keatley, Keith Matthews, Fionn Carr; Miah Nikora, Frank Murphy; Ronan Loughney, Sean Cronin, Jamie Hagan, Michael Swift, Michael McCarthy; Andrew Browne, Johnny O’Connor, John Muldoon (C)

Replacements: Adrian Flavin, Rob Sweeney, Barry Fa’amausili, Bernie Upton, Mike McComish, Cillian Willis, Troy Nathan, Brian Tuohy

Harlequins (v Connacht): Mike Brown; Gonzalo Camacho, George Lowe, Jordan Turner-Hall, Tom Williams; Nick Evans, Danny Care; Ceri Jones, Joe Gray, James Johnston, Ollie Kohn, Pete Browne, Tom Guest, Chris Robshaw (C), Nick Easter

Replacements: Matt Cairns, Joe Marler, Mark Lambert, Tomas Vallejos, Will Skinner, Karl Dickson, Rory Clegg, Tom Casson

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