Boost for Connachts European hopes as Carty fit to start at outhalf

first_img 23 Comments Jan 20th 2017, 12:29 PM Boost for Connacht’s European hopes as Carty fit to start at out-half Pat Lam makes five changes for “the biggest game in Connacht’s history.” Carty, left, with Steve Crosbie who was drafted in to help ease Connacht’s out-half crisis. Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO Friday 20 Jan 2017, 12:29 PM OUT-HALF JACK Carty is fit to start Connacht’s make-or-break European showdown in Toulouse, giving Pat Lam’s side a temporary reprieve from their injury crisis.The Westerners know that a win or draw in the Stade Ernest Wallon on Sunday [kick-off 3.15pm, Sky Sports] would guarantee their place in the quarter-finals — though they could also progress if they leave with a losing bonus point and deny Toulouse a try bonus.Carty has missed the last two weeks with a knee injury, and with Marnitz Boshoff and Shane O’Leary also sidelined, Lam was forced to improvise and play scrum-half John Cooney at 10 in last week’s hammering of Zebre.But Carty now returns as one of five changes for the game which Lam has billed as the biggest in the province’s history.Fit-again Peter Robb starts at outside centre while there is further good news in the pack where Quinn Roux, Nepia Fox-Matamua and Jake Heenan have all been cleared to start as well.“We are aware of the phenomenal challenge that awaits us in Toulouse on Sunday but these are the sort of games that you want to be a part of,” Lam said.“It’s an opportunity as a player and as a team to put in a performance on the big stage.“While the right outcome would be massive for Irish Rugby, the focus remains on executing our game plan in a pressure environment to get us the win we need.”Connacht15. Tiernan O’Halloran14. Niyi Adeolokun13. Peter Robb12. Craig Ronaldson11. Matt Healy10. Jack Carty9. Kieran Marmion1. Denis Buckley2. Tom McCartney3. Finlay Bealham4. Quinn Roux5. James Cannon6. Nepia Fox-Matamua7. Jake Heenan8. John Muldoon (captain)Replacements:16. Dave Heffernan17. JP Cooney18. John Andress19. Sean O’Brien20. Naulia Dawai21. John Cooney22. Tom Farrell23. Danie PoolmanThe42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us! Share9 Tweet Email 10,627 Views center_img Carty, left, with Steve Crosbie who was drafted in to help ease Connacht’s out-half crisis. By Niall Kelly Fiji head coach enters the fray to succeed Pat Lam in Connacht Follow us: Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more