Tuesday 17 September 2019

Confirmed: Keith Earls to miss semi-final showdown with Saracens

Munster's Keith Earls. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Munster's Keith Earls. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Munster have been dealt a huge blow ahead of tomorrow's Champions Cup semi-final meeting with Saracens with the news that Keith Earls has been ruled out through injury.

Earls, who scored two tries in the quarter-final win over Edinburgh, has not recovered in time from a thigh injury and misses the trip to the Ricoh Arena.

There are 12 changes to the side that earned an impressive win away to Benetton in Italy last weekend as Mike Haley, Darren Sweetnam and Jack O’Donoghue keep their places.

Munster captain Peter O’Mahony leads the side on his 50th Champions Cup appearance. O’Mahony has started each of his 49 appearances in the competition to date, including all 23 of the province’s Champions Cup games over the last three seasons.

Haley starts at full-back with Andrew Conway and Sweetnam on either flank.

Rory Scannell and Chris Farrell form the centre partnership with Conor Murray and Tyler Bleyendaal, who plays ahead of the injured Joey Carbery, in the half-backs.

Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell and John Ryan pack down in the front row with Jean Kleyn and Tadhg Beirne in the engine room.

O’Mahony, O’Donoghue and CJ Stander complete the starting XV.

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Munster: (15-9) Mike Haley; Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Rory Scannell, Darren Sweetnam; Tyler Bleyendaal, Conor Murray; (1-8) Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, John Ryan; Jean Kleyn, Tadhg Beirne; Peter O’Mahony (C), Jack O’Donoghue, CJ Stander.

Replacements: (16-23) Rhys Marshall, Jeremy Loughman, Stephen Archer, Billy Holland, Arno Botha, Alby Mathewson, JJ Hanrahan, Dan Goggin.

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