Pro14: Connacht v Benneton
Venue: Sportsground, Galway Date: Friday, 22 March Kickoff: 19:35 GMT
Coverage: Preview, updates and Game report on the BBC Sport website

Connacht have been bolstered by the return of Ireland internationals Ultan Dillane, Jack Carty and Kieran Marmion because of their Pro14 match against Benetton.

Dillane, that showcased Ireland’s Six Nations wins Scotland, Italy and France, starts in the next row.

Halfbacks Carty and Marmion, that were both introduced during the defeat by Wales, start the bench in Galway.

Benetton are unbeaten in their past eight games and the Italian side will be in 2nd place from the Conference B dining table.

Benetton head coach Kieran Crowley was in a position to include lock Alessandro Zanni and full-back Luca Sperandio, that both featured off the bench during Italy’s narrow loss to France within their final-round Six Nations fit.

Fly-half Ian McKinley, that was an unused substitute a week in Rome, will probably be appealed by scrum-half Dewaldt Duvenage.

Caolin Blade and Kyle Godwin will form the starting half back venture for Connacht as Marmion and Carty are kept in reserve at the place where they will be combined by fit-again second row Gavin Thornbury.

Connacht have won only two of their past five games as they cling onto third place in Seminar A however, the Irish state just lead on points gap and so are 14 points behind dining table toppers Glasgow.

“It is exciting to comeback with four games left and maintain the running to help make the play offs and to win the tournament is where you h to be at the start of the year,” said scrum-half Blade.

“There’s four games we potentially will need to get all of them to get in the business end therefore that is at the back of our minds.

“It is going to be a challenging game, they are having their very best season so far I’d say, therefore it is going to be a massive struggle but with our home crowd we’re tough to beat and we’re really excited about it”

Connacht XV: O’Halloran, Leader, Farrell, Robb, Healy; Godwin, Blade; Buckley, Delahunt, Bealham, Dillane, Cannon, McKeon, Fainga’a, Butler (c).

Replacements: McCartney, McCabe, Carey, Thornbury, Masterson, Marmion, Carty, Fitzgerald.

Replacements: Baravalle, Appiah, Pasquali, Barbini, Barbieri, Bronzini, Rizzi, Iannone.


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