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Connacht team to face Aironi

Guinness PRO12 Editor

6 Jan 2012

Connacht Rugby have announced the team that will face Aironi this Saturday (Stadio Zaffenella, kick off 16.35)

The 23 man squad sees the return of Connacht's towering second row Michael Swift and versatile prop Dylan Rogers to the pack while scrumhalf Frank Murphy joins Centre Dave McSharry and winger Fetu'u Vainikolo as the changes in the backline.

6'5, 18 stone lock Swift is Connacht's most capped player with a staggering 207 caps over 11 seasons for the Province. He has recently penned a contract extension that will see him remain at the club until at least the end of the 2012/13 season and marks his return to the starting lineup following a 2 week break with a knee injury. Dylan Rogers replaces the injured Ronan Loughney at tighthead. The 27 year old South African born prop can play at either side of the scrum and earned the callup after impressing from the bench in last weekend's narrow loss to Leinster.

Frank Murphy earns the starting berth at scrumhalf ahead of Paul O'Donohoe and Dave McSharry returns to centre following a week's lay-off while a nasty chin injury healed. 21 year old McSharry, who recently penned a 2 year contract, has been ever-present in the squad since earning his 1st cap against Ulster earlier this season. Fetu'u Vainikolo returns to the right wing replacing the injured Brian Tuohy. Tuohy underwent surgery earlier this week to repair a broken leg sustained in the New Years Day derby against Leinster and looks set to miss most of the remainder of the season.

Connacht XV to face Aironi (Stadio Zaffenella – Saturday 07/01/2012 kick-off 16.35 live on TG4 & RAI)

15 Gavin Duffy (C)
14 Fetu'u Vainikolo
13 Kyle Tonetti
12 Dave McSharry
11 Tiernan O'Halloran
10 Mattew Jarvis
09 Frank Murphy
01 Brett Wilkinson
02 Adrian Flavin
03 Dylan Rogers
04 Michael Swift
05 Mike McCarthy
06 Mick Kearney
07 John Muldoon
08 George Naoupu

16 Ethienne Reynecke
17 Denis Buckley
18 Stewart Maguire
19 Eoin McKeon
20 Ray Ofisa
21 Paul O'Donohoe
22 Niall O'Connor
23 Henry Fa'afili