Champions Cup: Connacht make five changes for Toulouse

Jack Carty during Connacht training on Wednesday

European Champions Cup Pool Two: Toulouse v Connacht
Venue: Stade Ernest Wallon, Toulouse Date: Sunday, 22 January Kick-off: 15:15 GMT Coverage: Score updates and report on BBC Sport website

The return of fit-again fly-half Jack Carty is one of five Connacht changes for their crucial Champions Cup game against Toulouse on Sunday.

Peter Robb returns to form a new centre partnership with Craig Ronaldson.

Quinn Roux comes in after missing last week, while the back row is boosted by the return from injury of flankers Nepia Fox-Matamua and Jake Heenan.

Connacht have ambitions of securing a quarter-final berth, while Toulouse also retain hope of a last eight place.

The unavailability of Carty (knee) and Shane O’Leary (concussion) forced Connacht coach Pat Lam to deploy Ulster-bound scrum-half John Cooney at fly-half in last weekend’s 66-21 victory over Zebre.

Heenan has recovered from a knee injury, with Fox-Matamua (chest), Roux (groin) and Robb (concussion) also fit again.

A repeat of their historic 2013 win over Toulouse will guarantee Connacht’s quarter-final spot while Lam’s squad will also definitely progress if they claim both a losing bonus point and try bonus point.

Connacht would also secure a last-eight berth if they earn a losing bonus point and deny Toulouse a try bonus.

The Irish province currently lead Wasps by a point in Pool Two although the Premiership side will be expected to guarantee their qualification by beating Zebre in Italy on Sunday.

Toulouse go into the weekend fixtures four points behind the Irish province.

Toulouse: P Berard; J Caminati, A Taumoepeau, F Vialelle, D Smith; J Dumora, A Dupont; A Tichit, B Mach, D Kotze, V Moreaux, R Capo Ortega; Y Caballero, A Bias, S Mafi

Replacements: J Jenneker, M Lazar, D Tussac, L Jacquet, A Jelonch, J Seron, B Urdapilleta, T Combezou.

Connacht: T O’Halloran; N Adeolokun, P Robb, C Ronaldson, M Healy; J Carty, K Marmion; Buckley, T McCartney, F Bealham, Q Roux, J Cannon, N Fox-Matamua, J Heenan, J Muldoon (capt).

Replacements: D Heffernan, JP Cooney, J Andress, S O’Brien, N Dawei, J Cooney, T Farrell, D Poolman.

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