Flanker Cian Prendergast returns for Connacht Rugby as the Irish province host fellow EPCR Challenge Cup side Scarlets in the United Rugby Championship (URC) on Friday.

The 22-year-old, who scored two tries in last season’s Heineken Champions Cup, is back in the starting lineup having featured on the Emerging Ireland tour, which culminated in a hard-fought win over Toyota Cheetahs.

Prop Denis Buckley, lock Leva Fifita, flanker Conor Oliver, scrum-half Kieran Marmion and full-back Tiernan O’Halloran come in as Connacht’s other changes following last Friday’s 10-0 loss to Leinster Rugby.

Meanwhile, flanker Dan Thomas starts for Scarlets after being brought in on a two-game loan from Bristol Bears.

The 29-year-old is one of three alterations the Welsh region have made as they seek back-to-back wins after last Saturday’s 36-12 success over Zebre Parma.

Prop Steff Thomas is called up to start while Steff Evans swaps in at outside centre, with captain Jonathan Davies shifting to inside centre.

Benetton Rugby are the other EPCR Challenge Cup side in URC action on Friday, welcoming Vodacom Bulls to Stadio Comunale di Monigo.

The Italian side have named a much-changed side from last Saturday’s 53-8 defeat at Edinburgh Rugby, with the experienced quartet of centre Ignacio Brex, scrum-half Dewaldt Duvenage, lock Federico Ruzza and prop Simone Ferrari among those brought into the starting XV.