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Connacht lie in 9th position in the Pro12 after their loss to Dragons away from home, below todays' opponents and Edinburgh are gunning to make sure that it stays that way.


Starting XV: 15 Robbie Henshaw, 14 Tiernan O’Halloran, 13 Danie Poolman, 12 Dave McSharry, 11 Gavin Duffy (c), 10 Dan Parks, 9 Kieran Marmion,

1 Brett Wilkinson, 2 Jason Harris-Wright, 3 Ronan Loughney, 4 Mick Kearney, 5 Andrew Browne, 6 Johnny O'Connor, 7 Willie Faloon, 8 Eoin McKeon.

Replacements: 16. Adrian Flavin, 17. Denis Buckley, 18. JP Cooney, 19. Danny Qualter, 20. Dave Gannon, 21. Paul O'Donohoe, 22. Miah Nikora, 23. Fetu Vainikolo


Starting XV: 15 Greig Tonks, 14 Tom Brown, 13 Nick De Luca, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Greig Laidlaw (c), 9 Richie Rees,

1 Allan Jacobsen, 2 Andy Titterrell, 3 Willem Nel, 4 Perry Parker, 5 Sean Cox, 6 David Denton, 7 Roddy Grant, 8 Stuart McInally.

Replacements: 16 Alun Walker, 17 John Yapp, 18 Lewis Niven, 19 Robert McAlpine, 20 Izak van der Westhuizen, 21 Chris Leck, 22 Gregor Hunter, 23 Dougie Fife

 Venue: The Sportsground, Galway City

Date: Saturday, 01st December 2012

Kick-off: 17:00

TV Broadcasts: None. Matchday Live on Rabo Site.

Referee: Marius Mitrea (FIR, 14th competition game)


Edinburgh having been bouyed by their victory over Ospreys are coming to Galway with a point to prove.

"Connacht target the arrival of the visiting Scottish sides because they feel they've an excellent chance of winning those games. We've talked about that a lot at training this week as something we have to change." - Edinburgh Coach Michael Bradley

They have drafted their Scottish internationals straight back into action, with their backline getting an injection of 5 top quality players, including their captain Laidlaw and try-scroing machine Tim Visser. They see this as a chance to build some real momentum and they are not taking any chances by resting their key men.

Connacht will lineout today after a disappointing trip to Wales where they failed to gain any points in what was a reportedly dour affair which finished 14-3 in the home sides favour. With a lot of the Connacht front-line players out injured and Edinburgh welcoming back their international players this game is set to pose one of the biggest questions of the season so far to our Connacht team. Looking at the injury list published by Connacht (reproduced below for your viewing ease), you could justify counting nine of those players as part of a starting XV, and certainly 9 or more would be part of a matchday XXII. 

This however will give oppportunities for Connacht to see how their less often used players are progressing and whether their endevours in the B&I Cup this year has led to a greater depth within the sqaud. Certainly with the bottom half od the Rabo Pro12 so close at the minute a loss at home today will devastate the plans for the season and leave Connacht facing a huge uphill struggle to finish in a respectable position as they head into the new year.

Connacht without their superb starting 2nd row, and shorn of Muldoon and George in the backrow need to keep their heads screwed on tight, and get their innovative backline moving effectively. Defensively we will be tested all over the park, but Tiernan in particular is facing off against one of the more prodigious finishers in the league's history and will need to make sure to get his tackle in early, to prevent Visser from getting up a head of steam. Our center partnership are also coming to come under close scrutiny against a pairing used to the rigours of the international game. If parity is gained up-front, this could come down to the strategic battle of the backline and defensive coaches, and with the knowledge of our coaches that Bradley has it could come out in his favour.

Connacht - Unavailable through injury: Rodney Ah You, Thomas Anderson, Finlay Bealham, Mata Fifita, Eoghan Grace, Eoin Griffin, Shane Layden, Darragh Leader, Mike McCarthy, John Muldoon, Frank Murphy, George Naoupu, Dave Nolan, Ethienne Reynecke, Michael Swift, Kyle Tonetti, Nathan White

Edinburgh - Absent through injury: Ben Atiga (knee), Ben Cairns (knee), Dimitri Basilaia (knee), Jamie Farndale (leg), Ross Ford (shoulder), Piers Francis (leg), Lee Jones (groin), James King (leg), Steven Lawrie (knee), Ross Rennie (shoulder), Netani Talei (knee), Steven Turnbull (knee).

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