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Heineken Cup Pool 3: Connacht v Toulouse preview

Last updated: 13th December 2013  

Heineken Cup Pool 3: Connacht v Toulouse preview

Pat Lam: Has made three changes for Saturday's return fixture with Toulouse

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Connacht have made three changes in their pack for Saturday's Heineken Cup Pool 3 clash with Toulouse at the Sportsgrounds.

Jason Harris-Wright and Rodney Ah You come into the front row for the Irish province, who stunned four-time winners Toulouse with a 16-14 victory at Stade Ernest Wallon last Sunday.

The other change comes at No 8 where Eoin McKeon is preferred to George Naoupu, who is named among the replacements.

Connacht's preparations for this Pool 3 return fixture have been far from ideal, with 12 players coming down with flu during the week, while Michael Swift was ruled out for a month with a fractured eye socket.

"We had to curtail the session on Thursday and were restricted in what we could do," said Connacht head coach Pat Lam.

"But these things are out of control and thankfully a lot of the guys are feeling better today after some rest.

"We've made some changes to the pack after what was a hugely physical game last week. Unfortunately we lost Michael Swift to injury but we have the experience of Andrew (Browne) returning to the match squad."

Toulouse head coach Guy Noves has made wholesale changes for the trip to Galway.

There is a new half-back combination as Lionel Beauxis and Jean-Marc Doussain are preferred to Jean Pascal Barraque and Jano Vermaak, while Maxime Medard replaces Hosea Gear on the left wing.

Christopher Tolofua and Schalk Ferreira start in the front row, with Romain Millo-Chluski coming in for Edwin Maka at lock and Yannick Nyanga replacing Yacouba Camara at blindside flanker.

"Last weekend's game was the biggest challenge we faced as a team, and we overcame that, but now we're up against another massive challenge," said Lam, whose side had only beaten Zebre this season prior to last weekend's shock win.

"We're playing a vengeful Toulouse who will come here determined to turn around last week's defeat."

Connacht: 15 Henshaw, 14 Carr, 13 Griffin, 12 McSharry, 11 Healy, 10 Parks, 9 Marmion; 1 Wilkinson, 2 Harris-Wright, 3 Ah You, 4 Kearney, 5 Clarke (c), 6 Muldoon, 7 Heenan, 8 McKeon.

Replacements: 16 Henry, 17 Buckley, 18 White, 19 Browne, 20 Naoupu, 21 Murphy, 22 Ronaldson, 23 Duffy.

Toulouse: 15 Poitrenaud, 14 Huget, 13 Fritz, 12 David, 11 Medard, 10 Beauxis, 9 Doussain; 1 Ferreira, 2 Tolofua, 3 Johnston, 4 Millo-Chluski, 5 Maestri, 6 Nyanga, 7 Dusautoir (c), 8 Picamoles.

Replacements: 16 Ralepelle, 17 Steenkamp, 18 Montes, 19 Tekori, 20 Galan, 21 Fickou, 22 Gear 23 Bezy.

Watch Connacht v Toulouse live on Sky Sports 2 red button from 6pm on Saturday

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