Gallagher set to shine
Former Ireland U20 captain Cillian Gallagher will join Eoghan Masterson and John Muldoon in the Connacht back-row for his first start against Brive in The Challenge Cup at Stade Domenech this evening (KO8.0 Irish time).
Coach Kieran Keane has put Bundee Aki straight back into the centre with Kieran Marmion and Jack Carty given the responsibility to direct traffic from half-back.
"We are expecting a huge physical battle against Brive," said forwards coach Jimmy Duffy.
"They will have a big strong pack and will look to maul at every opportunity.
"We will need to match that physicality and we have been really focusing on in training during the week."
There will be a question mark over Brive's interest in this competition.
The fact they are playing at home should ensure a trying time for Connacht.
Brive: G Germain; N Megdoud, S Galala, B Petre, G Namy; T Laranjeira, F Cazenave; J Brugnaut, M Tadjer, D Bamba, J Snyman, J Uys, P Luafutu, D Waqaniborutu, P Hauman (capt).
Connacht: T O'Halloran; C Kelleher, P Ahki, B Aki, M Healy, J Carty, K Marmion; D Buckley, S Delahunt, F Bealham, U Dillane, Q Roux, C Gallagher, E Masterson, J Muldoon (capt).