Connacht and Munster name teams as PRO12 derby approaches

Pat Lam's men welcome the red army to Galway

connacht, treviso, pro12, italy, pat lam, glasgow warriors

Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

Guinness PRO12 champions Connacht have named a makeshift starting 15 to take on domestic rivals Munster at the Sportsground on Saturday.

Pat Lam's squad have been ravaged with injuries in recent weeks with the province providing a list of 22 players currently on the treatment table earlier this week

Speaking ahead of the match, Lam said: “With over half of our senior squad unavailable through injury and more players going down this week either with injury or sickness, it’s been another incredibly challenging week.

“We know it’s going to be very tough against Munster but despite the setbacks we have confidence in the players left standing. Being back at home in a sold out Sportsground for the last game of 2016 also helps the situation we are in. 

We have a lot of respect for top-of-the-table side Munster and what they are achieving this season. They are without a doubt the form team of the PRO12 championship. It’s going to take a massive team effort against them tomorrow but we’re looking forward to the significant challenge in front of us,” he added.

Munster make 11 changes from the side which beat Leinster on St. Stephan's day with Peter O'Mahony and CJ Stander dropping out of the squad altogether.

Centre Francis Saili makes his first start of the season after recovering from injury.

Connacht: Tiernan O’Halloran; Niyi Adeolokun; Rory Parata; Peter Robb; Matt Healy; Jack Carty; Kieran Marmion; Denis Buckley; Tom McCartney (captain); Finlay Bealham; Quinn Roux; James Cannon; Nepia Fox-Matamua; Jake Heenan; Naulia Dawai.

Replacements: Dave Heffernan; JP Cooney; John Andress; Lewis Stevenson; Danny Qualter; Caolin Blade;   Ciaran Gaffney; Rory Moloney.

Munster:  Andrew Conway; Keith Earls, Francis Saili, Dan Goggin, Ronan O'Mahony; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; James Cronin, Rhys Marshall, Stephen Archer; Jean Kleyn, Dave Foley; Billy Holland (Captain), Tommy O'Donnell, Jack O'Donoghue.

Replacements:  Dave Kilcoyne, Kevin O'Byrne, Thomas Du Toit, Robin Copeland, Conor Oliver, Te Aihe Toma, Rory Scannell, Jaco Taute.