Tuesday 28 February 2017

Debuts for Johnston, Madigan as Foley puts faith in youth

Sam Wheeler

Clonmel-born David Johnston (pictured) starts at outside-centre, with fellow 21-year-old John Madigan, from Charleville, lining out in the second-row
Clonmel-born David Johnston (pictured) starts at outside-centre, with fellow 21-year-old John Madigan, from Charleville, lining out in the second-row

Two home-grown youngsters are among three players handed competitive debuts as Munster kick off their Pro12 campaign against Treviso at Irish Independent Park tonight.

Clonmel-born David Johnston starts at outside-centre, with fellow 21-year-old John Madigan, from Charleville, lining out in the second-row.

The third debutant is Dublin-born former Gloucester wing Shane Monahan. The strapping 28-year-old was in the Leinster Academy before moving on to Connacht and Rotherham.

All three get their opportunities after impressing in pre-season.

Tyler Bleyendaal is in line to make his belated competitive bow off the bench - the New Zealander has been bedevilled by injury since arriving midway through last season.

Full-back Felix Jones comes straight into the team after his omission from the Ireland World Cup squad.

There is international experience dotted around Anthony Foley's side, in the form of fit-again hooker Mike Sherry, former Springbok tighthead BJ Botha, second-row Dave Foley and out-half Ian Keatley.

Munster - F Jones; A Conway, D Johnston, R Scannell, S Monahan; I Keatley, D Williams; J Cronin, M Sherry, BJ Botha; J Madigan, D Foley; Dave O'Callaghan, J O'Donoghue, CJ Stander (capt). Reps: N Scannell, J Ryan, S Archer, R Copeland, S Buckley, C Sheridan, T Bleyendaal, C Bohane.

Treviso - J Hayward; L Nitoglia, T Iannone, E Bacchin, A Pratichetti; S Christie, C Smylie; A De Marchi (capt), R Santamaria, R Harden; D Naudè, T Palmer; R Barbieri, D Budd, B Steyn. Reps: L Bigi, M Zanusso, S Ferrari, F Gerosa, J-F Montauriol, M Barbini, A Lucchese, S Ragusi.

Ref - L Linton (SRU)

Munster v Treviso, Live, TG4, 7.45

Irish Independent

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