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Connacht travel to the hopefully sunnier climes of Italy tomorrow to take on Aironi in the Rabo Pro12. After a run of disappointing defeats the Connacht team, staff and fans alike will hope for the best despite their injury striken squad.



Starting XV:


Starting XV


15 Gavin Duffy (C)

14 Fetu'u Vainikolo

13 Kyle Tonetti

12 Dave McSharry

11 Tiernan O'Halloran

10 Matthew Jarvis

09 Frank Murphy

01 Brett Wilkinson

02 Adrian Flavin

03 Dylan Rogers

04 Michael Swift

05 Mike McCarthy

06 Mike Kearney

07 John Muldoon

08 George Naoupu

16 Ethienne Reynecke

17 Denis Buckley

18 Steward Maguire

19 Eoin McKeon

20 Ray Ofisa

21 Paul O'Donohoe

22 Niall O'Connor

23 Henry Fa'afili

15 Andrea Masi
14 Giulio Toniolatti
13 Roberto Quartaroli
12 Gabriel Pizarro
11 Sinoti Sinoti
10 Luciano Orquera
09 Tyson Keats
08 Josh Sole
07 Simone Favaro
06 Nicola Cattina
05 Marco Bortolami (cap)
04 Joshua Furno
03 Fabio Staibano
02 Roberto Santamaria
01 Alberto De Marchi

16 Tommaso D'Apice
17 Salvatore Perugini
18 Lorenzo Romano
19 Quintin Geldenhuys
20 Mauro Bergamasco
21 Tito Tebaldi
22 Naas Olivier
23 Alberto Benetti



Jarvis holds onto the hotly contested out-half position after a disappointing kicking game against Leinster. He will be hoping to replicate his excellent running game and game management this week, while also improving his returns from the kicking tee. Niall O'Connor returns from injury to provide backup from the bench.

Tiernan O'Halloran will start after penning a 2 season contract with Connacht this week, with Vainikolo coming into the squad to replace Brian Tuohy who unfortunately broke his leg last week and will be out for the season. In the centres are McSharry and Tonetti with Tonetti promoted to the starting 13 slot after Griffin twinged his hamstring again, an injury that he had just recovered from, and which Brian O'Driscoll has much experience in his long career to date. The battle for starting scrum-half sees the starting position switch again this week with Frank starting.

With Loughney and JOC picking up injuries in the game against Leinster, and Michael Swift making a timely return, the pack looks very different this week. George is back to his old position at 8, up against Josh Sole, forcing Muldoon into his least favored openside slot for this match, with young Kearney at 6. Dylan Rogers put in an impressive enough shift last week and will look to continue that against the tough Italian front row.

Check out the forum for the match thread, and have your say on whether this will end our bad-run.


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