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Andrew Browne returns to Connacht backrow after lengthy lay-off

Updated: Friday, 14 Sep 2012 12:58

Andrew Browne back for his first start since pre-season 2011
Andrew Browne back for his first start since pre-season 2011

Eric Elwood has made six changes to the Connacht XV for the visit of the Scarlets to the Sportsground in the RaboDirect PRO12 on Saturday.

Injury has forced an entire new back row and sees Andrew Browne named as blindside flanker for his first game back since he was injured in pre-season 2011.

Willie Faloon and Eoin McKeon complete the back row and replace Johnny O'Connor and George Naopu respectively.

Brett Wilkinson will start at loosehead prop, while new signing Nathan White gets his first start at tighthead.

Connacht XV v Scarlets in the RaboDirect PRO12 at the Sportsground on Saturday at 3pm:

15 Gavin Duffy (captain), 14 Tiernan O'Halloran, 13 Eoin Griffin, 12 Dave McSharry, 11 Fetu'u Vainikolo, 10 Miah Nikora, 9 Kieran Marmion, 1 Brett Wilkinson, 2 Ethienne Reynecke, 3 Nathan White, 4 Michael Swift, 5 Mike McCarthy, 6 Andrew Browne, 7 Willie Faloon, 8 Eoin McKeon.

Replacements: 16 Adrian Flavin, 17 Dennis Buckley, 18 Rodney Ah You, 19 David Gannon, 20 Johnny O'Connor, 21 Dave Moore, 22 Matthew Jarvis, 23 Robbie Henshaw.

Elsewhere in the backs, Dave McSharry has been promoted to a starting berth, replacing Mata Fifita in the centre.

Elwood was very pleased with his team's performance in Parma last week where they defeated Zebre 30-17, but knows there is a lot of work to do this weekend.

Elwood said: "We played well in Zebre, scoring three tries away from home and securing our first win of the season.

“The lads showed huge character in Italy, especially when we were forced into making so many changes in the second half.

“Tomorrow poses another challenge as Scarlets are top of the league and are playing very well.

“They've had a great start to the season, scoring 10 tries in the process. We will really have to step it up against this Scarlets side but the lads are well up for the challenge."

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