The teams meet in Galway on Saturday
Pat Lam has made four personnel changes to the team that lined out in the bonus point win over Zebre six days ago for Saturday's game against Ospreys in The Sportsground.
Caolin Blade and Rodney Ah You are both named to start while Ireland squad members Kieran Marmion and Finlay Bealham were released to join up with Connacht on Thursday and so take a place on the bench.
George Naoupu is another change to the pack, starting with Aly Muldowney in the second row while Academy player Sean O'Brien comes in to start at openside flanker, shifting his fellow Galway-born team mate and captain John Muldoon to Number 8 in the absence of injured duo Eoghan Masterson and Eoin McKeon. James Connolly is named among the replacements as back row cover.
Commenting on the team announcement and the upcoming game, head coach Pat Lam said:
"We respect what Ospreys have done as a team. They have won this competition on two occasions already and have consistently been in the top 4 over the years with quality squad depth. They're certainly in form, having lost just one game in their last nine and we know they will be hungry to continue their climb up the table."For us, there was a big focus in training on tidying up the areas that let us down against Zebre last week and this should go a long way in ensuring an improvement in our overall performance to get the points on offer in front of our supporters at home."
"For us, there was a big focus in training on tidying up the areas that let us down against Zebre last week and this should go a long way in ensuring an improvement in our overall performance to get the points on offer in front of our supporters at home."
Connacht team to face Ospreys, Saturday February 27th, 7:35pm
(15-9): Tiernan O'Halloran, Niyi Adeolokun, Bundee Aki, Craig Ronaldson, Matt Healy, AJ MacGinty, Caolin Blade.
(1-8): Denis Buckley, Tom McCartney, Rodney Ah You, George Naoupu, Aly Muldowney, Sean O'Brien, Jake Heenan, John Muldoon (capt).
Replacements (16-23): Dave Heffernan Ronan Loughney, Finlay Bealham, Ben Marshall, James Connolly, Kieran Marmion, Peter Robb, Danie Poolman.