Connacht sweating on fitness of Naoupu and Browne

Connacht back rower George Naoupu and lock Andrew Browne are considered doubtful ahead of Friday’s RaboDirect PRO12 meeting with Ospreys in the Sportsground (7.45pm).

Naoupu returned to light training yesterday, the versatile forward is waiting to see a specialist for his neck and is unlikely to be involved as soon as Friday night.

Browne injured his ankle during last week’s game against Scarlets. He underwent a scan today and the results will determine his participation for the remainder of the week.

There were a few other knocks and bruises sustained in the defeat in Wales last Friday but Eric Elwood is hopeful that he will have a large squad to choose from for the visit of the defending champions.

Denis Buckley returned to training following a medial ligament injury to his knee. After a good pitch session today, the 22-year-old prop will be available for selection this week.

Recent returnees Gavin Duffy, Willie Faloon, Eoin McKeon, John Muldoon and Kyle Tonetti were all given game time in Wales last week and continue to train ahead of the Ospreys clash.

Meanwhile, Ireland lock Mike McCarthy picked up a strain to the medial ligament in his right knee during the Six Nations defeat to England on Sunday.

He is ruled out of provincial action this week and is considered doubtful for the Scotland game in two weeks’ time. The second row will see a specialist this week for further review.

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