Robbie Henshaw released from the Ireland camp to play for Connacht this weekend
Finlay Bealham and Ultan Dillane will also feature against Scarlets13:15 Friday 29 January 2016, 13:15 29 Jan 2016
Ireland International Robbie Henshaw will line out at the Sportsground for the second week in a row after he was released from international camp to play for his province.
Forwards Finlay Bealham and Ultan Dillane, who were two of five uncapped players drafted into Joe Schmidt's 6 Nations squad, have also been released for tomorrow's game. Bealham, who will start at tighthead prop, is one of six frontline changes made by Pat Lam from last week, while lock Dillane takes a place on the bench.
Against league leaders Scarlets, there will be a new half-back pairing with Connacht-born duo Jack Carty and Caolin Blade both named to start in a backline averaging just 23 years of age.
Tom McCartney is promoted from the bench to join Denis Buckley and Bealham in the front row. George Naoupu and Jake Heenan are both named to start in the pack in what will be the last game before the PRO12 takes a week's break for 6 Nations action.
Ronan Loughney, Ian Porter and Craig Ronaldson are all named among the replacements.
Commenting on the team selection and the upcoming game, head coach Pat Lam said:
"While we were pleased with last week's performance, we know that Scarlets present a completely different challenge. They are top of the league and will travel with confidence especially with their PRO12 form away from home.
"We know from our meeting with them last month that it will probably be a closely-fought contest once again and we will have to bring that clinical edge that was on show last week if we are to come on top.
"We are back at home on a Saturday afternoon for the second week in a row and we're really looking forward to playing in front of a packed out Sportsground before we take a short break. A win would keep us in the 'top four' where we have been all season and would sign off this block of 16 consecutive games very nicely for us and our supporters."
Connacht team to face Scarlets:
(15-9): Tiernan O'Halloran, Danie Poolman, Robbie Henshaw, Bundee Aki, Matt Healy, Jack Carty, Caolin Blade.
(1-8): Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney, Finlay Bealham, George Naoupu, Aly Muldowney, John Muldoon (capt), Jake Heenan, Eoghan Masterson.
Replacements (16-23): Dave Heffernan, Ronan Loughney, Rodney Ah You, Ultan Dillane, James Connolly, Ian Porter, Craig Ronaldson, Rory Parata.
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