Friday 30 September 2016

Munster axe Keatley as Blues pick Ringrose

Rugby

Published 26/12/2015 | 02:30

Munster's Ian Keatley has been dropped from the squad. Photo: Diarmuid Greene / Sportsfile
Munster's Ian Keatley has been dropped from the squad. Photo: Diarmuid Greene / Sportsfile

Ian Keatley has paid the price for his recent poor form as coach Anthony Foley has dropped him from his match-day 23 to take on Leinster at Thomond Park tomorrow.

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The out-half has been wayward from the tee and looked visibly shorn of confidence and Foley has responded by leaving him out to face his former side.

It means that Tyler Bleyendaal, who has been plagued with injury since joining the province earlier this year, starts in the No 10 jersey.

"Some of it comes under player management, some of it comes under performance and some of it comes under what's right for the team to do," Foley commented.

Tommy O'Donnell makes a welcome return following five months out (hip) and is named amongst the replacements.

Leinster coach Leo Cullen has also made a big decision with his out-half position as the out-of-sorts Johnny Sexton is left out for the visit to Limerick.

Ian Madigan gets a chance to impress from his preferred position with Cathal Marsh providing cover from the bench.

Garry Ringrose hasn't seen much action in recent weeks but he is named at outside centre alongside Luke Fitzgerald in a new-look midfield.

Sean Cronin will make his 100th appearance for Leinster against his home province while Sean O'Brien is also fit enough to return.

Elsewhere, Rory Best will sit out Ulster's trip to Galway as he is rested. Rory Scholes replaces Craig Gilroy who has fractured an eye socket.

Pat Lam has responded to Connacht's heavy defeat to Newcastle by making 12 personnel changes.

"When you look at what they (Ulster) have achieved already this season and what they are capable of, we know we will have to be clinical in everything we do to ensure we make the most of the opportunities we create," Lam said.

Irish Independent

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