PRO12 teams: Connacht ring changes for Treviso trip
Last Updated: 29/04/16 11:50pm
There are three crucial fixtures in the Guinness PRO12 on Friday as the battle for the play-offs and Champions Cup qualification hots up.
Connacht and Glasgow are expected to make short work of Treviso and Zebre respectively, setting up a crucial clash in Galway next weekend which could decide who will have home advantage in the semi-finals.
Victory is also a must for Munster and Edinburgh as they vie for the final Champions Cup place.
Treviso v Connacht (6.30pm Irish time)
Connacht head coach Pat Lam makes 10 changes for the trip to Italy as Jack Carty, Jake Heenan and Tiernan O'Halloran return from injury.
Bundee Aki is rested while Robbie Henshaw and fellow Ireland international Finlay Bealham are named on the bench.
Treviso are on a five-game losing streak and have not beaten an Irish province since Connacht's visit to the Stadio Monigo in October 2013.
Benetton Treviso: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Ludovico Nitoglia, 13 Luca Morisi, 12 Alberto Sgarbi, 11 Angelo Esposito, 10 Sam Christie, 9 Edoardo Gori; 1 Matteo Zanuzzo, 2 Ornel Gega, 3 Simone Ferrari, 4 Filo Paulo, 5 Tom Palmer, 6 Francesco Minto, 7 Alessandro Zanni (c), 8 Abraham Steyn.
Replacements: 16 Davide Giazzon, 17 Cherif Traorè, 18 Manu Salesi, 19 Marco Fuser, 20 Marco Lazzaroni, 21 Alberto Lucchese, 22 Luke McLean, 23 Tommaso Iannone.
Connacht: 15 Tiernan O'Halloran, 14 Niyi Adeolokun, 13 Rory Parata, 12 Peter Robb, 11 Fionn Carr, 10 Jack Carty, 9 John Cooney; 1 Ronan Loughney, 2 Tom McCartney (c), 3 Rodney Ah You, 4 Quinn Roux, 5 Andrew Browne, 6 Sean O'Brien, 7 Jake Heenan, 8 Eoin McKeon.
Replacements: 16 Dave Heffernan, 17 JP Cooney, 18 Finlay Bealham, 19 Aly Muldowney, 20 John Muldoon, 21 Coalin Blade, 22 AJ MacGinty, 23 Robbie Henshaw.
Munster v Edinburgh (7.35pm)
Dave Kilcoyle, Niall Scannell, Dave Foley and Dave O'Callaghan all return to the Munster pack in what is a must-win clash for both sides in the race for Champions Cup qualification.
Andrew Conway joins Ireland duo Keith Earls and Simon Zebo in the back three, with Johnny Holland preferred to Ian Keatley at fly-half for the Irish Independent Park contest.
Scotland centre Matt Scott and Andries Strauss come into the Edinburgh midfield with scrum-half Sean Kennedy promoted to the starting line-up.
Edinburgh have won just one of their last eight PRO12 games with Munster, a 14-13 success in Thomond Park in September 2014.
Munster: 15 Simon Zebo, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Francis Saili, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Johnny Holland, 9 Conor Murray; 1 Dave Kilcoyne, 2 Niall Scannell, 3 Stephen Archer, 4 Dave Foley, 5 Billy Holland, 6 Dave O'Callaghan, 7 Tommy O'Donnell, 8 CJ Stander (c).
Replacements: 16 Mike Sherry, 17 James Cronin, 18 John Ryan, 19 Robin Copeland, 20 Jack O'Donoghue, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Ronan O'Mahony.
Edinburgh: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Damien Hoyland, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Tom Brown, 10 Jason Tovey, 9 Sean Kennedy; 1 Alasdair Dickinson, 2 Ross Ford (c), 3 WP Nel, 4 Anton Bresler, 5 Ben Toolis, 6 Jamie Ritchie, 7 John Hardie, 8 Cornell Du Preez.
Replacements: 16 Stuart McInally, 17 Rory Sutherland, 18 John Andress, 19 Alex Toolis, 20 Magnus Bradbury, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Chris Dean, 23 Dougie Fife.
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre (7.35pm)
Gregor Townsend rings the changes with one eye on Glasgow's final regular season fixture with Connacht on May 7.
Glenn Bryce, Taqele Naiyaravoro and Duncan Weir all start, with Finn Russell and Tommy Seymour on the bench. Stuart Hogg drops out of the match-day 23.
The Warriors are on an eight-game winning streak in the PRO12 while Zebre have lost their last nine fixtures.
Glasgow Warriors: 15 Glenn Bryce, 14 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Alex Dunbar, 11 Sean Lamont, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Grayson Hart; 1 Jerry Yanuyanutawa, 2 Pat MacArthur, 3 D'arcy Rae, 4 Greg Peterson, 5 Leone Nakarawa, 6 Rob Harley (c), 7 Simone Favaro, 8 Adam Ashe.
Replacements: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Gordon Reid, 18 Zander Fagerson, 19 Tim Swinson, 20 Ryan Wilson, 21 Ali Price, 22 Finn Russell, 23 Tommy Seymour.
Zebre: 15 Ulrich Beyers, 14 Giulio Toniolatti, 13 Tommaso Boni, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Kayle Van Zyl, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Luke Burgess; 1 Andrea De Marchi, 2 Oliviero Fabiani, 3 Dario Chistolini, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys (c), 5 Marco Bortolami, 6 Emiliano Caffini, 7 Filippo Cristiano, 8 Federico Ruzza.
Replacements: 16 Bruno Postiglioni, 17 Emiliano Coria, 18 Pietro Ceccarelli, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Andries Van Schalkwyk, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Giulio Bisegni, 23 Kelly Haimona.