Henshaw set for Connacht return in sold-out New Year’s Day Munster tie

PAT LAM IS set to call on centre Robbie Henshaw for Connacht’s sold-out Guinness Pro12 meeting with Munster at the Sportsground on New Year’s Day [KO 17.00].

The 21-year-old sat out last weekend’s defeat in Ulster as part of the IRFU’s player welfare programme, but should be a crucial presence as Connacht look to start 2015 with an inter-provincial victory.

Henshaw has made eight starts for Lam’s side this season, but has linked up with new Kiwi centre Bundee Aki just once. Connacht will look to that midfield combination to ask demanding questions of the Munster defence on Thursday.

Meanwhile, second row Quinn Roux is also available again after sitting out the Ulster defeat with an ankle injury. The South African has made a strong impact at Connacht since joining on loan from Leinster at the start of the season.

23-year-old Eoin McKeon is back in the selection mix too, having recovered from a knee sprain, while wing Fionn Carr is fully recuperated after recent issues with concussion and swells the options in the back three.

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Quinn Roux is available again to Pat Lam. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

However, prop Ronan Loughney is a doubt for the Munster clash with a back injury, while veteran lock Michael Swift has been ruled out for two to three weeks after suffering concussion in training last week.

Mick Kearney [ankle] and Tiernan O’Halloran [knee] were both back running at the squad session in Galway on Monday, although Connacht estimate that the duo will be sidelined for another two to three weeks.

Lam will name his starting XV and replacements tomorrow. The IRFU’s David Wilkinson will referee the tie.

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