Elwood rings changes for Treviso encounter

The Connacht side that will face Benetton Treviso on Friday night at the Sportsground (kick off: 7.30pm) shows seven changes from the team that lost 6-17 to the Ospreys last weekend.

The Connacht side that will face Benetton Treviso on Friday night at the Sportsground (kick off: 7.30pm) shows seven changes from the team that lost 6-17 to the Ospreys last weekend.

Ethienne Reynecke and Ronan Loughney have been called into the front row. They join Brett Wilkinson after making their mark against Toulouse a fortnight ago.

A powerful second-row combination of Michael Swift and George Naoupu backs them up while Dave Gannon, John Muldoon and Ray Ofisa, who earns his 100th cap for Connacht, complete the backline.

Frank Murphy and Niall O'Connor make for a changed midfield. The halfback pairing last played together in Connacht's narrow defeat to the Cardiff Blues in October at the Sportsground.

Centre Dave McSharry moves back to 12 while Connacht's latest signing, Kyle Tonetti, gets his first taste of senior action at outside centre, the 24-year-old flyer joined Connacht from Sale Sharks earlier this year.

Mark McCrea earns a start on the right wing, the former Ireland U19 winger scored the match-winning try against Dragons earlier this season.

He is joined by Tiernan O'Halloran on the left wing and captain Gavin Duffy in the backline.

Connacht (v Benetton Treviso): G Duffy; M McCrea, K Tonetti, D McSharry, T O’Halloran; N O’Connor, F Murphy; B Wilkinson, E Reynecke, R Loughney; M Swift, G Naoupu; D Gannon, J Muldoon, R Ofisa.

Replacements: A Flavin, D Buckely, R Ah You, M Kearney, E Grace, P O’Donohoe, M Jarvis, F Vainikolo.

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