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Preview: Connacht v Dragons

04th January 2013 12:06

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Fetu u Vainikolo Connacht v Harlequins 2012

Return: Fetu'u Vainikolo

Connacht coach Eric Elwood has made two personnel and also two positional tweaks to the XV that played Leinster for their meeting with the Dragons.

The province has been boosted by the return from injury of Fetu'u Vainikolo. The Tongan winger is the only change to the backline and is named alongside Robbie Henshaw and Danie Poolman.

The front row trio of Denis Buckley, Jason Harris-Wright and Nathan White (captain) remains while Mike McCarthy is alongside Michael Swift.

Meanwhile, in the back row, versatile forward George Naoupu returns to his regular number eight position and Eoin McKeon is moved to 7.

Connacht speedsters Tonderai Chavhanga and Adam Hughes both return to tackle the Irishmen.

Scrum-half Wayne Evans is included in the line-up amongst the men of Gwent. Jonathan Evans will be joined on the bench by Ashley Smith.

The forwards are again rewarded for their impressive performances after both derby matches and remain in the team. There are no other changes to the regional side's team who last faced the Ospreys at home in the RaboDirect Pro 12 league on New Year's Eve.

The teams:

Connacht: 15 Robbie Henshaw, 14 Danie Poolman, 13 Eoin Griffin, 12 Dave McSharry, 11 Fetu'u Vainikolo, 10 Dan Parks, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 George Naoupu, 7 Eoin McKeon, 6 Andrew Browne, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Michael Swift, 3 Nathan White (capt), 2 Jason Harris-Wright, 1 Denis Buckley.
Replacements: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 Brett Wilkinson, 18 Ronan Loughney, 19 Mick Kearney, 20 Eoghan Grace, 21 Paul O'Donohoe, 22 Matthew Jarvis, 23 Tiernan O'Halloran.

Dragons: 15 Hallam Amos, 14 Tom Prydie, 13 Adam Hughes, 12 Andy Tuilagi, 11 tbc, 10 Lewis Robling, 9 Wayne Evans, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Nic Cudd, 6 Lewis Evans (capt), 5 Rob Sidoli, 4 Andrew Coombs, 3 Dan Way, 2 Sam Parry, 1 Phil Price.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Gustafson, 17 Owen Evans, 18 Nathan Buck, 19 Adam Jones, 20 Tom Brown, 21 Jonathan Evans, 22 Ashley Smith, 23 Jack Dixon.

Date: Saturday, January 5
Kick-off: 17:00
Venue: The Sportsground
Referee: Andrew McMenemy (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Mark Patton (Ireland), Kevin Beggs (Ireland)
Assessor: Bertie Smith (Ireland)

  • Connacht Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Guinness PRO12
Saturday , November 29
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
Friday , December 19
Leinster vs Connacht19:35
Saturday , December 27
Ulster vs ConnachtTBC
Friday , January 9
Connacht vs Edinburgh19:35
Wednesday, January 14
Scarlets vs ConnachtTBC
Saturday , February 21
Newport Gwent D'gons vs ConnachtTBC
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European Rugby Challenge Cup
Saturday , December 6
Connacht vs Bayonne17:00
Saturday , December 13
Bayonne vs Connacht19:45
Saturday , January 17
Connacht vs ExeterTBC
Saturday , January 24
La Rochelle vs ConnachtTBC
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
  • Connacht Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 21
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Friday , October 31
Ospreys 26 - 11 Connacht
More Guinness PRO12 results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Saturday , October 25
Exeter 33 - 13 Connacht
Saturday , October 18
Connacht 48 - 12 La Rochelle
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 10
Benetton Treviso 6 - 9 Connacht
More Guinness PRO12 results
  • Table
Guinness PRO12 Table
PosTeamPPts
4Glasgow Warriors827
5Leinster824
6Connacht823
7Scarlets822
8Edinburgh815