Biarritz vs Connacht: Heineken Cup match preview

Last updated: 14th December 2012  

Imanol Harinordoquy Biarritz Heineken Cup Launch

Imanol Harinordoquy: Will return to captain Biarritz

Connacht Johnny OConnor

Johnny O'Connor: Will replace Willie Faloon in Connacht's back row

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Connacht have named just one change to the starting XV for their clash against Biarritz, following last Friday's 22-14 win over the former Heineken Cup finalists.

Coach Eric Elwood has selected Johnny O'Connor to replace Willie Faloon in the back row where he is joined by Eoin McKeon and Andrew Browne. Earlier this week Faloon was ruled out of selection due to a fractured eye socket he incurred at the Sportsground on Friday night.

As Connacht look for a historic French double, Dan Parks will lead his side out at the Parc des Sports Aguilera.

He is this season's leading points scorer on 48 points, bringing his all-time total to 403. The fly-half is just two points short of reaching the half-century mark in the Heineken Cup for the fifth time in eight seasons.

Having this week signed a full contract with Connacht Rugby, 19-year-old Robbie Henshaw will line up at full-back.

Meanwhile, Imanol Harinordoquy will return to captain Biarritz at number eight for the rematch.

The French side will be looking to make amends following Connacht's upset defeat in Galway in Round 3.

Harinordoquy will start along with Jean-Pascal Barraque, Damien Traille, Julien Peyrelongue and Pelu Taele. Magnus Lund has been named amongst the replacements.

Following last Friday's loss, Biarritz coaches Jack Issac and Serge Milhas were sacked, leaving manager Laurent Rodriguez and Mathieu Rourre, academy director, in charge of selection for this week's game.

Biarritz: 15 Iain Balshaw, 14 Taku Ngwenya, 13 Jean-Pascal Barraque, 12 Damien Traille, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Julien Peyrelongue, 9 Dimitri Yachvili, 8 Imanol Harinordoquy (c), 7 Raphael Lakafia, 6 Wenceslas Lauret, 5 Pelu Taele, 4 Erik Lund, 3 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 2 Benoit August, 1 Fabien Barcella.
Replacements: 16 Jean-Philippe Genevois, 17 Lodewicus Blaauw, 18 Thomas Synaeghe, 19 Thibault Dubarry, 20 Magnus Lundy, 21 Yann Lesgourgues, 22 Serema´a Burotu, 23 Marcelo Bosch.

Connacht: 15 Robbie Henshaw, 14 Tiernan O'Halloran, 13 Danie Poolman, 12 Dave McSharry, 11 Fetu'u Vainikolo, 10 Dan Parks, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 Eoin McKeon, 7 Johnny O'Connor, 6 Andrew Browne, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Mick Kearney, 3 Ronan Loughney, 2 Jason Harris Wright, 1 Brett Wilkinson.
Replacements: 16 Ethienne Reynecke, 17 Dennis Buckley, 18 JP Cooney, 19 Danny Qualter, 20 George Naoupu, 21 Paul O'Donohoe, 22 Miah Nikora, 23 Matthew Jarvis.

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