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Connacht rugby fans will be hoping for another good performance as they host Ulster on Friday. Kick off 7:35pm. Connacht coach Andy Friend expects a backlash from Ulster this evening at the Sportsground after his side turned them over in Belfast earlier this season.

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Lock Quinn Roux and flanker Sean O’Brien have returned to the Connacht starting team for the interprovincial clash at home to Ulster in the Sportsground on Friday (Kick off 7:35pm). They are among four changes to the side which lost narrowly to Leinster in the RDS last weekend with hooker Shane Delahunt and tight head Conor Carey also named in the starting XV.

Carey and Delahunt come into a front row that also includes loosehead Denis Buckley while Roux partners Gavin Thornbury in the second row.

In the back-row O’Brien comes in at blindside with Captain Jarrad Butler reverting to the number 8 jersey.

Man of the Match in the Leinster game Jack Carty, continues his half back pairing with Caolin Blade. In the back three, Darragh Leader starts again at full back with Kyle Godwin, who was a late replacement for the Leinster game and Cian Kelleher retained on the wings.

Stephen Fitzgerald who joined Connacht on loan move this week, takes his place among the replacements.

Speaking ahead of the game, Head Coach Andy Friend says his side are fully aware of the challenge that an in form Ulster side will present “These interpro fixtures are massive occasions and when they take place over the Christmas period, they bring that increased level of excitement. We know there will be a big home crowd in the Sporstground and we will need to be up for the occasion with Ulster coming to town. This block of fixtures is hugely important in the context of our season, but we are not looking beyond Ulster on Friday evening.”

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