Elwood shuffles his pack for Scarlets

Connacht head coach Eric Elwood has made six changes to the starting team for the Scarlets visit to the Sportsground tomorrow afternoon (3pm).

Connacht head coach Eric Elwood has made six changes to the starting team for the Scarlets visit to the Sportsground tomorrow afternoon (3pm).

Injury has forced an entire new back row and sees Andrew Browne named as blindside flanker. This is Browne’s first game back since he was injured in preseason 2011.

Willie Faloon and Eoin McKeon complete the all new back row and replace Johnny O’Connor and George Naopu respectively.

Brett Wilkinson will start at loosehead prop while new signing Nathan White gets his first start tomorrow at tighthead prop alongside hooker Ethienne Reynecke in the front row.

There is no change in second row where Elwood has kept faith the established partnership of Michael Swift and Mike McCarthy.

The only change in the backline comes at inside centre where Dave McSharry has been promoted to a starting berth, replacing Mata Fifita.

Scarlets are riding high after two successive wins and are perched on top of the league table.

Elwood was very pleased with his team’s performance in Parma last week which produced a 30-17 win over Zebre but knows there is a lot of work to do this weekend.

“We played well in Italy scoring three tries away from home and securing our first win of the season,” he said.

“The lads showed huge character, especially when we were forced into making so many changes in the second half.

“Tomorrow poses another challenge as Scarlets are top of the league and are playing very well. They’ve had a great start to the season, scoring ten tries in the process.

“We'll have to step it up against this Scarlets side but the lads are well up for the challenge.”

Connacht (v. Scarlets): G Duffy ©; T O’Halloran, E Griffin, D McSharry, F Vainikolo; M Nikora, K Marmion; B Wilkinson, E Reynekce, N White; M Swift, M McCarthy; A Browne, W O’Connor, E McKeon.

Replacements: A Flavin, D Buckley, R Ah You, D Gannon, J O’Connor, D Moore, M Jarvis, R Henshaw.

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