Loughney to start for Connacht

Eric Elwood has made one change to his team for Connacht’s final Heineken Cup game of the season against Harlequins at the Sportsground tomorrow night (8pm).

Eric Elwood has made one change to his team for Connacht’s final Heineken Cup game of the season against Harlequins at the Sportsground tomorrow night (8pm).

The inclusion of tighthead prop Ronan Loughney in the starting XV in place of Dylan Rogers is the only change from the team that went down 24-3 to Toulouse last weekend.

Loughney was called into the Ireland Wolfhounds squad yesterday along with 4 other Connacht players, Brett Wilkinson, John Muldoon, Gavin Duffy and Mike McCarthy while Tiernan O'Halloran was called in as an additional player to the Senior Ireland squad.

With five appearances short of 100 Loughney adds to an already experienced Connacht pack who boast 991 caps between them.

Captain Duffy provides the experience in a youthful backline which sees the resumption of Paul O’Donohoe and Niall O’Conor’s partnership at half back while Kyle Tonetti continues to link up with Dave McSharry in midfield.

Connacht (v Harlequins): G Duffy (c); F Vainikolo, K Tonetti, D McSharry, T O’Halloran; N O’Connor, P O’Donohoe, B Wilkinson, A Flavin, R Loughney; M Swift, M McCarthy; J Muldoon, R Ofisa, G Naoupu.

Replacements: E Reynecke, Denis Buckley, M Kearney, E McKeon, D Moore, M Nikora, H Fa’afili.

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