Connacht name team to face Zebre

Updated: September 6, 2012

Connacht Rugby has announced their starting XV that will take on new club Zebre in the second round of the RaboDirect PRO12 tomorrow at the Stadio XXV in Parma, Italy. KO 6.05 (Irish time)

Head Coach Eric Elwood has remained faithful to the starting XV that were unlucky to lose to Cardiff Blues last week by naming an unchanged side and has only made two changes on the bench with Nathan White taking the place of Finlay Bealham and Frank Murphy stepping in for Dave Moore.

Newcomers Zebre went down to a heavy 37-6 defeat to Newport-Gwent Dragons last week in their first outing away from home but will be looking to give their supporters something to cheer about in the Italian side’s first ever RaboDirect PRO 12 home game.

Connacht will be looking to convert last week’s dominance of possession and territory into much needed points this week. The game, although played in horrendous conditions, was an error-strewn performance and, ultimately, Connacht only have themselves to blame for the early season defeat.

Technical director of Team Zebre Christian Gajan has made four changes to his side. 21-year-old Alberto Benettin makes his debut at inside-centre replacing injured team-mate Roberto Quartaroli, while emerging Italian scrum-half Alberto Chillon wins his first start in place of Tito Tebaldi.

In the pack, veteran flanker Mauro Bergamasco has recovered from a muscle injury and makes his first start for Zebre, replacing Nicola Cattina. Former Italian international Josh Sole starts at lock in place of Emiliano Caffini who moves to the replacements bench.

Connacht has enjoyed plenty of recent success on Italian soil and after Elwood described last weeks loss as ‘unacceptable’ the westerners are sure to claim a first victory of the RaboDirect PRO 12 2012/13 season .

Connacht XV to face Zebre (Stadio Aprille XXV Parma – ko 19.05 local time (18.05 Irish) live on TG4)

15 Gavin Duffy (C)
14 Tiernan O’Halloran
13 Eoin Griffin
12 Mata Fifita
11 Fetu’u Vainikolo
10 Miah Nikora
09 Kieran Marmion
01 Denis Buckley
02 Ethienne Reynecke
03 Ronan Loughney
04 Michael Swift
05 Mike McCarthy
06 John Muldoon
07 Johnny O’Connor
08 George Naoupu


16 Adrian Flavin
17 Rodney Ah You
18 Nathan White
19 Dave Gannon
20 Willie Faloon
21 Frank Murphy
22 Matthew Jarvis
23 Robbie Henshaw

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