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Connacht team to face Treviso

Guinness PRO12 Editor

1 Dec 2011

Connacht Rugby have announced the starting XV that will face Benetton Treviso on Friday night at the Sportsground.

Head Coach Eric Elwood has opted for a side that blends an experienced pack with an exciting and dynamic backline. In total there are 7 changes in the starting lineup that faced the Ospreys last week.

Ethienne Reynecke and Ronan Loughney have been called into the frontrow, they join Brett Wilkinson after making their mark against Toulouse a fortnight ago.

A powerful secondrow combination of Michael Swift and George Naoupu backs them up while Dave Gannon, John Muldoon and Ray Ofisa, who earns his 100th cap for Connacht, complete the backline.

Frank Murphy and Niall O'Connor make for a changed midfield. The halfback pairing last played together in Connacht's narrow defeat to the Cardiff Blues in October at the Sportsground.

Centre sensation Dave McSharry moves back to 12 while Connacht's latest signing, Kyle Tonetti, gets his first taste of senior action at outside centre, the 24 year old flyer joined Connacht from Sale Sharks earlier this year.

Mark McCrea earns a start on the right wing, the former Ireland U19 winger scored the match-winning try against Dragons earlier this season. He is joined by Tiernan O'Halloran on the left wing and captain Gavin Duffy in the backline.

Connacht team to face Benetton Treviso (The Sportsground, Friday 2nd December, kick-off 19.30)

15 Gavin Duffy (C)
14 Mark McCrea
13 Kyle Tonetti
12 Dave McSharry
11 Tiernan O'Halloran
10 Niall O'Connor
09 Frank Murphy
01 Brett Wilkinson
02 Ethienne Reynecke
03 Ronan Loughney
04 Michael Swift
05 George Naoupu
06 Dave Gannon
07 John Muldoon
08 Ray Ofisa

16 Adrian Flavin
17 Dennis Buckley
18 Rodney Ah You
19 Mick Kearney
20 Eoghan Grace
21 Paul O'Donohoe
22 Matthew Jarvis
23 Fetu'u Vainikolo