Game preview: Connacht

Game preview: Connacht

Get the inside line as we host Connacht at BT Murrayfield this Friday night in another vital Conference B encounter (21 February, kick-off 7.35pm) - live on Premier Sports 2.

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How to follow

The match is live on Premier Sports 2 from 7pm ahead of a 7.35pm kick-off. We will be providing in-game updates via our Live Match Centre.

Current standings

Eight points currently separate the two clubs with Edinburgh in first place in Conference B (38) and Connacht in fourth place (30).

Last time out

Edinburgh faced Connacht at BT Murrayfield in September 2018 in a match that saw the capital club run out 17-10 winners thanks to tries from Duhan van der Merwe and Pierre Schoeman.

Form guide

Edinburgh come into Friday night's match off the back of a vital road win against Scarlets that saw Richard Cockerill's side jump back to the top of Conference B. The capital club have lost just one in five, with their last defeat coming away to Bordeaux-Bègles on Saturday 11 January.

Connacht ended a five-game losing streak with a 29-0 win over Cardiff Blues last weekend. It was the Galway club's first victory in over two months which sees them well placed heading into the business end of the season.

Camp news

Ireland internationals Ultan Dillane and Dave Heffernan returned to Connacht's starting team to face Cardiff Blues on Saturday, but the Irishmen will likely be without their Irish stars for this Friday's match in the Scottish capital. Connacht captain Jarrad Butler was in dazzling form on Saturday, making 17 tackles, and will once again lead the Irish club this weekend.

There are no new fresh injury concerns from Edinburgh, besides the knock picked up by lock Fraser McKenzie on Saturday. Like Connacht, the capital club will have a wait to see who is available from the international side.

Players to watch

Jack Carty - The stand-off was named in Ireland's squad for the 2019 Rugby World Cup and has picked up nine caps on the international stage. Pulls the strings at 10 and has been a stalwart in the Connacht side since 2012.

Jarrad Butler - New-Zealand born Butler joined Connacht in 2017 and replaced long-serving captain John Muldoon as the club's captain at the end of 2018. A top-tackler who leads by example, Butler is a constant threat among the Irishmen's back-row.

Caolin Blade - Lightning quick, with an eye for the whitewash, scrum-half Blade joined Connacht in 2015. Blade, 25, has been in impressive form this season, linking-up with Carty at half-back.

Key stats

Edinburgh have lost only once in the last six rounds of Guinness PRO14: 16-20 away to Glasgow Warriors on 21 December.

The Scotsmen are unbeaten at BT Murrayfield in any competition this season.

Connacht’s three game losing run in Guinness PRO14 ended with their 29-0 defeat of Cardiff Blues in Galway on Saturday, only the second time Connacht had ever held an opponent pointless in a Guinness PRO14 match since beating Caerphilly 62-0 at The Sportsground in September 2001.

The Irishmen have not won away from home since beating Ospreys in Swansea on 2 November.

Connacht have not beaten a Scottish opponent since a 22-19 win over Edinburgh at Myreside in April 2017.

Edinburgh have won their last two matches against Connacht whilst the Irishmen have won on four of their last six visits to BT Murrayfield including the 2016 Final victory over Leinster.

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