Danie Poolman will make his first start for Connacht after being named at outside centre for the RaboDirect PRO12 encounter with Benetton Treviso this Saturday at The Sportsground (5pm).
Poolman is one of six personnel changes to the team that started against Ospreys last weekend, with four of those in the pack.
Denis Buckley returns to the starting XV this week at loosehead prop while Mike McCarthy, on his release from Irish camp, joins Michael Swift in the second row.
Fit-again flanker Andrew Browne was back to full training this week and tomorrow joins Johnny O’Connor and Eoin McKeon in the back row.
The half back pairing of Kieran Marmion and Dan Parks remains unchanged, while Dave McSharry will start alongside Poolman in midfield.
Robbie Henshaw resumes the full back position for tomorrow’s clash while, on the bench, Gavin Duffy makes a welcome return to the squad.
This is Connacht’s first home league match since their fantastic 34-6 win over Leinster in September and Head Coach Eric Elwood is looking for a repeat of that display against Treviso.
“It has become a must-win for us and it is well within our range,” Elwood said.
“We just need to cut out some of the errors and capitalise on the chances we are creating.
“It has been a busy period but there is a break coming up and we need to go into that with a win under our belt.”
Connacht (v. Treviso): R Henshaw; T O’Halloan, D Poolman, D McSharry, F Vainikolo; D Parks, K Marmion; D Buckley, J Harris-Wright, N White ©; M Swift, M McCarthy; A Browne, J O’Connor, E McKeon.
Replacements: A Flavin, R Ah You, R Loughney, J Muldoon, M Kearney, D Moore, M Nikora, G Duffy.