Kieran Marmion will make his first appearance in over two months as Connacht look to end their Heineken Champions Cup campaign on a high at Montpellier on Sunday afternoon.

Scrum-half Marmion, who's been sidelined since early November with a back injury sustained against the Ospreys, was not included in Andy Farrell's Six Nations squad on Wednesday, but his return is a very welcome boost for the injury-hit Westerners.

Neither Connacht or Montpellier can qualify for the knockout stages from Pool 5. Nonetheless, Andy Friend is determined to put up a strong showing. 

"We'd a great win over Montpellier in the opening round but we're under no illusions that the return leg will be a huge challenge," he said.

"We've picked a strong side and are aiming to win the game and regain some momentum ahead of an important block of games coming in the Pro 14. 

"We're delighted to see Kieran back from injury. He's been out since November and has worked really hard to get back on the field. His experience alongside Jack Carty, will be a boost to us." 

Kyle Godwin comes into the midfield to partner Bundee Aki, while Tiernan O’Halloran is named at full-back, with John Porch and the province's record try scorer Matt Healy on the wings. 

Hooker Dave Heffernan starts alongside props Paddy McAllister and Dominic Robertson McCoy. Joe Maksymiw and Gavin Thornbury make up the second row, with 20-year-old Niall Murray among the replacements.

Eoghan Masterson starts at blindside with Colby Fainga’a at openside and captain Jarrad Butler taking the number 8 jersey. 

Montpellier: Johan Goosen, Gabriel N'gandebe, Arthur Vincent, Jan Serfontein, Yvan Reilhac, Handré Pollard, Benoit Paillaugue; Usha Tcheisvhili, Bismarck Du Plessis, Levan Chilachava, Nico Janse van Rensburg, Paul Willemse, Kelian Galletier (capt), Yacouba Camara, Jacques Du Plessis

Replacements: Vincent Giudicelli, Mikheil Nariashvili, Mohamed Haouas, Fulgence Ouedraogo, Kahn Fotuali'i, Anthony Bouthier, Thomas Darmon, Konstantine Mikautadze

Connacht: Tiernan O’Halloran, John Porch, Kyle Godwin, Bundee Aki, Matt Healy, Jack Carty, Caolin Blade; Paddy McAllister, Dave Heffernan, Dominic Robertson McCoy, Joe Maksymiw, Gavin Thornbury, Eoghan Masterson, Colby Fainga’a, Jarrad Butler (capt) 

Replacements: Jonny Murphy, Denis Buckley, Conor Kenny, Niall Murray, Eoin McKeon, Caolin Blade, Conor Fitzgerald, Tom Daly