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Murray returns without Carbery


Boost: Munster’s Conor Murray will start against Edinburgh tonight

Boost: Munster’s Conor Murray will start against Edinburgh tonight

Boost: Munster’s Conor Murray will start against Edinburgh tonight

At last, Conor Murray will make his first start of the season for Munster at home to Edinburgh in Irish Independent Park this evening.

It is frustrating to note how it will not be inside Joey Carbery, with JJ Hanrahan designated to lineout at fly-half.

It means the much-anticipated partnership between Murray and Carbery has not had any chance to form and develop into that extra dimension Munster so badly need for Europe.

They will have accumulated zero minutes together by the time the Champions Cup back-to-back swing around next week.

It isn't all unsatisfactory news as Ireland outside centre Chris Farrell will also start for the first time, adding to the important minutes picked up against Zebre in Italy last Sunday.

Coach Johann van Graan has chosen to throw Ireland's autumn internationals Peter O'Mahony, Tadhg Beirne, Andrew Conway, Keith Earls, John Ryan and Niall Scannell straight back into action with many of them in need of match sharpness.

Edinburgh look shockingly short of experience up front where no less than six of the pack have single digit caps, including 21 in total for the back five.

There is also a debut for centre George Taylor, albeit in the backline with far great know-how.


"We've got a young group again, but part of our development as a squad is that we have got to put people in a position to grow," said Director of Rugby Richard Cockerill.

"It's been a tight turnaround with regards to training, but we have prepared as well as we can and we will travel with the mindset to win."

It is one thing saying what the mindset is; quite another to show it.

The fact Cockerill has not introduced a stock of Scotland's internationals suggests this could be a long, hard night in Cork.

Munster: M Haley; A Conway, C Farrell, R Scannell, K Earls; JJ Hanrahan, C Murray; D Kilcoyne, N Scannell, J Ryan, T Beirne, B Holland, P O'Mahony (capt), C Cloete, A Botha. Replacements: K O'Byrne, J Loughman, C Parker, F Wycherley, G Coombes; D Williams, T Bleyendaal, S Arnold.

Edinburgh: D Fife; T Brown, G Taylor, J Pable-Socino, D van der Merwe; J van der Walt, N Fowles; R Sutherland, D Cherry, M McCallum, J Hodgson, C Hunter-Hill, A Miller, L Wynne, L Hamilton (capt). Replacements: R Ford, D Marfo, P Ceccarelli, C Atkinson, S Nayalo; S Kennedy, J Baggott, C Dean.

Verdict: Munster