MUNSTER fans have a first opportunity to watch new signing Fionn Carr in action when he lines out for Connacht in tonight’s Magners League clash at Thomond Park.
Dubliner Carr, one of the most highly-rated young backs in the country, was snapped up by Munster a couple of months ago while Connacht hooker, Limerick’s Sean Cronin is another who could be making the provincial switch. Munster wouldn’t lack for motivation tonight given their shock 12-6 defeat to Michael Bradley’s side at Christmas.
Though Connacht were crushed by Northampton in the European Challenge Cup last weekend, coach Michael Bradley has made just one change for the trip Shannonside with Troy Nathan forming a new centre partnership alongside Niva Ta’auso.
However there are some fitness concerns in the forward department. Andrew Browne or Michael Swift will start in the second row alongside Andrew Farley and at number eight there is still a question mark over Ray Ofisa, with Colm Rigney ready to deputise.
After the debacle in Galway, Tony McGahan is taking no chances on this occasion. Though he has made 10 changes from the side that walloped the Ospreys in the Heineken Cup on Sunday but he has also included Marcus Horan, David Wallace, Tomas O’Leary, Ronan O’Gara and Lifeimi Mafi among the replacements.
Doug Howlett, Keith Earls, Ian Dowling, Paul Warwick (who switches to out-half) and Denis Leamy, who started against Ospreys, are all pressed into action once again.
Munster are currently a massive 30 ahead of Connacht but it hasn’t been lost on McGahan that Connacht were trailing by 18 points when the sides met at Christmas. Connacht enter the game with nothing to lose and their coach will see to it that they capitalise on any complacency that may exist.
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