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No rest for Joey ahead of Leinster return


Joey Carbery

Joey Carbery

Joey Carbery

Joey Carbery will play with All Black Alby Mathewson for the first time against Ulster at Thomond Park this evening.

There must have been the temptation for Johann van Graan to give Carbery a break ahead of a return to his old club next week.

It looks like the coach has taken the approach to give Carbery as many minutes as possible to find his feet ahead of the Heineken Champions Cup.

"He's played four games at ten, two off the bench, two starting," said Van Graan.

"He's had some very good moments from the team perspective and like all the guys, one or two moments we want him to improve."

The South African is finding out what Leinster already know about Carbery's composure.

"The thing I've been impressed by the most is the head on his shoulders.

"He's very calm on the field and the way he looks at himself.

"It's all about the team and standards for our team."

While Carbery expands Munster's attacking threat with his vision and skills, there has to be a meeting of minds with those around the out-half.

"You don't only adapt yourself to a player," said Van Graan.

"You can't only kick or only run. It's about a balanced and well-rounded game. With conditions, we'll definitely have to adapt.

"With a fly-half of that kind of speed and feet, the guys around him have to be aware."

Munster make eight changes from Cardiff, with Keith Earls and Niall Scannell set to join Mathewson for their first hit-out of the season.

Ulster will come to Limerick without fear and with John Cooney returning at scrum-half.

Angus Curtis will start in the centre and backs Michael Lowry and James Hume could make their debuts from the bench.

Munster: M Haley; A Conway, D Goggin, R Scannell, K Earls; J Carbery, A Mathewson; D Kilcoyne, N Scannell, S Archer, T Beirne, B Holland, P O'Mahony (Capt), T O'Donnell, CJ Stander. Reps: K O'Byrne, J Cronin, C Parker, J Kleyn, A Botha; D Williams, I Keatley, S Arnold.

Ulster: P Nelson, C Gilroy, D Cave, A Curtis, A Kernohan; B Burns, J Cooney; A Warwick, A McBurney, R Kane, A O'Connor (Capt), I Henderson, M Rea, N Timoney, J Deysel. Reps: J Andrew, E O'Sullivan, T O'Toole, K Treadwell, C Ross; D Shanahan, M Lowry, J Hume.

Verdict: Munster

Munster v Ulster, Live eir Spt (Today, KO 7.35)