Carl Hayman makes his first start in a Newcastle shirt on Friday and director of rugby John Fletcher is hopeful the Kiwi prop can make an impact in the European Challenge Cup
Hayman was bought on an half time in the Falcons' defeat to Wasps last weekend and despite only training once with the team, Fletcher has seen enough and has included him in Friday's starting line-up.
"Carl played 40 minutes at Wasps last weekend after being in the country for four days and having only trained once with the team," he said.
"He made a good contribution even in those circumstances, and with the jet lag now out of his system and a good week of training under his belt we're looking forward to seeing how he goes."
Fletcher knows this game will be no walkover for his side, saying: "Connacht are a good side who beat a Glasgow squad containing 14 internationals last weekend, so are giving them the respect they deserve.
"They won that Glasgow game by four points but it could have been more, and then they ran a star-studded Leinster team very close in Dublin a couple of weeks ago too. We've watched a lot of them on video this season, and we know it will be a tough encounter because not many teams go to Ireland and win in European competition."
"This is the strongest side that Connacht have ever had. They are a very well-coached team with good players, a nice mixture of youth and more experienced heads, so we know exactly what we're up against and that it will be a ferocious battle.
The Falcons make five changes for the trip to Galway. Hayman forms part of a new-look front row as fellow All Black Joe McDonnell and hooker Andy Long all come in to the side, with David Wilson rested for the match.
The only other personnel change in the pack sees Brent Wilson take the place of Andy Perry, with the ensuing reshuffle meaning a switch to the second row for Geoff Parling as Wilson packs down on the blindside flank.
There is just one change to the back line as Hall Charlton comes in for the rested James Grindal, while on the bench there is a return for fit-again No.8 Russell Winter.