Thursday 8 December 2016

Keith Earls returns as Anthony Foley makes six changes for crucial clash with Stade Francais

Published 08/01/2016 | 12:09

Munster's Keith Earls speaking during a press conference. Castletroy Park Hotel, Limerick. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
Munster's Keith Earls speaking during a press conference. Castletroy Park Hotel, Limerick. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE

Munster head coach Anthony Foley has made six changes to his side from last weekend's dramatic victory over Ulster for the trip to Paris to face Top 14 champions Stade Francais.

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It's win or bust for Munster, who need a victory to stand any chance of qualifying for the last eight as one of the three best runners-up in the pool stages.

In a boost to the squad, Dave Foley, Keith Earls, Conor Murray and Andrew Conway have all overcome their respective knocks to take their place in the starting XV.

In an unchanged front row Dave Kilcoyne, Mike Sherry and BJ Botha all remain in situ while in the second row Foley resumes his partnership with Mark Chisholm. The final change in the pack sees Robin Copeland come back in to join Tommy O'Donnell and captain CJ Stander in the back row with O'Donnell making his first European appearance of the season.

Murray re-joins Ian Keatley in the half backs with Simon Zebo and Earls returning to the left and right wings respectively, while Rory Scannell and Francis Saili again form the midfield pairing.

The final change sees Conway take charge at full-back.

The game kicks off at 4.45pm tomorrow and is live on Sky Sports One.

Munster: (15-9) Andre Conway; Keith Earls, Francis Saili, Rory Scannell, Simon Zebo; Ian Keatley, Conor Murray; (1-8) Dave Kilcoyne, Mike Sherry, BJ Botha; Dave Foley, Mark Chisholm; Robin Copeland, Tommy O'Donnell, CJ Stander(c)

Replacements: (16-23) Niall Scannell, John Ryan, Mario Sagario, Billy Holland, Jack O’Donoghue, Tomás  O’Leary, Denis Hurley, Ronan O’Mahony

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