We have live score commentary from Connacht v Scarlets at The Sportsground in round three of the RaborDirectPRO 12. KO 3pm.
The Welsh side are sitting pretty at the top of the RaboDirectPRO 12 table after two impressive wins over Leinster at home and away to the Glasgow Warriors last weekend. Leinster may have been missing many of their first team regulars but the manner of the performance and the 40-20 scoreline suggest Scarlets will be a force to be reckoned with this year.
Connacht have a defeat and a win respectively but they haven’t won at home since last April’s win over Aironi rugby. Eric Elwoods troops first outing this season was against Cardiff Blues where atrocious weather conditions and subsequently handling errors prevented Connacht from scoring a deserved opening round win.
Injuries have forced Elwood’s hand and he makes six changes to the side which won away to Zebre last weekend. The most significant of these is the entire backrow has been replaced. Andrew Browne, Willie Faloon and Eoin McKeown all start in pace of John Muldoon, Johnny O’Connor and George Naopu respectively.
In the front row Brett Wilkinson returns at loosehead and Nathan White makes his first competitive start at tighthead while in the backs Dave McSharry starts in place of Mata Fifita in the centre.
Scarlets are on fire at the moment and the Irish province are down some of their major players which all sugests an away win for Easteryb’s side come Saturday evening.
Connacht: Gavin Duffy (capt); Tiernan O’Halloran, Eoin Griffin, Dave McSharry, Fetu’u Vainikolo; Miah Nikora, Kieran Marmion; Brett Wilkinson, Ethienne Reynecke, Nathan White; Michael Swift, Mike McCarthy; Andrew Browne, Willie Faloon, Eoin McKeon.
Replacements: Adrian Flavin, Denis Buckley, Rodney Ah You, David Gannon, Johnny O’Connor, Dave Moore, Matthew Jarvis, Robbie Henshaw.
Scarlets: Jordan Williams; George North, Jonathan Davies (capt), Scott Williams, Nick Reynolds; Rhys Priestland, Gareth Davies; Phil John, Matthew Rees, Samson Lee, Sione Timani, Richard Kelly, Josh Turnbull, Johnathan Edwards,Kieran Murphy.
Replacements: Ken Owens, Peter Edwards, Deacon Manu, Jake Ball, Rob McCusker, Aled Davies, Aled Thomas, Gareth Maule.