Academy prop Denis Buckley earns his first competitive start for Connacht in the absence of Brett Wilkinson for Friday’s RaboDirect Pro12 tie with Edinburgh at the Sportsground, kick-off 7.30pm.

22-year-old Buckley made his debut for the province last September against Treviso and also featured in the Heineken Cup clashes with Toulouse and Harlequins.

The only other change to the starting line-up from last week sees the return of Frank Murphy to scrum-half.

Murphy has been out of action with a groin injury since the first week in January and his return to full fitness sees him replace Paul O'Donohoe in the number nine jersey.

Connacht team to play Edinburgh in the RaboDirect PRO12 at the Sportsground on Friday 24 February:

Gavin Duffy (capt), Fetu'u Vainikolo, Kyle Tonett, Henry Fa'afili, Tiernan O'Halloran, Niall O'Connor, Frank Murphy, Denis Buckley, Adrian Flavin, Ronan Loughney, Michael Swift, Mike McCarthy, John Muldoon, Eoghan Grace, George Naoupu

Ethienne Reynecke, Dylan Rogers/BrettWilkinson, Stewart Maguire, Mick Kearney, Ray Ofisa, Paul O'Donohoe, Matthew Jarvis, Eoin Griffin