Connacht side for Cardiff game

Guinness PRO12 Editor

28 Oct 2011


Tongan World Cup star Fetu’u Vainkolo is set to make his Connacht debut Saturday as they welcome the Cardiff Blues to the Sportsground at 6pm.

The 26 year old winger played twice for the Pacific Islanders in New Zealand, scoring a try in their 31-18 victory over Japan. He slots in on the rights wing and joins captain Gavin Duffy and the returning Tiernan O'Halloran in the back three. Samoan international centre Henry Fa'afilli renews his exciting partnership with Eoin Griffin who comes back into the team after missing the trip to the RDS with a late injury. The half-back pairing again sees Frank Murphy paired with Niall O'Connor.

There are two changes in the front-row with Adrian Flavin coming in at hooker and Rodney Ah You coming in at tighthead. They join Ireland Wolfhound Brett Wilkinson who starts at loosehead. Michael Swift and Mike McCarthy are selected in a second-row that has over 300 caps between them. There is more experience in the back-row with centurions John Muldoon and Johnny O'Connor joined by Ray Ofisa who is winning his 96th cap for the province. The pack has a total of 948 caps and they will look to call on all their experience as they look to extend their 100% home record this season.

There is more good news for Connacht amongst the replacements with George Naoupu returning after picking up an injury away to Edinburgh and Miah Nikora making his first appearance of the season. The Kiwi out-half came off the bench in the 'A' game against Munster last Friday and he will be sure to get a rapturous welcome from the Connacht Clan if he takes to the field.

Connacht team v Cardiff Blues, The Sportsground, 29th October 6pm:

15 Gavin Duffy ©
14 Fetu'u Vainikolo
13 Eoin Griffin
12 Henry Fa'afili
11 Tiernan O'Halloran
10 Niall O'Connor
09 Frank Murphy
01 Brett Wilkinson
02 Adrian Flavin
03 Rodney Ah You
04 Michael Swift
05 Mike McCarthy
06 John Muldoon
07 Johnny O'Connor
08 Ray Ofisa

16 Ethienne Reynecke
17 Ronan Loughney
18 Dylan Rogers
19 Dave Gannon
20 George Naoupu
21 Paul O'Donohoe
22 Miah Nikora
23 Brian Tuohy


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