Wednesday 21 February 2018

Rassie Erasmus makes 10 changes as Munster prepare for emotional return to Paris

Conor Murray will start for Munster against Racing while Francis Saili is on the bench
Conor Murray will start for Munster against Racing while Francis Saili is on the bench

David Kellyin Paris

Rassie Erasmus has been forced to change his line-up for the first time ahead of tomorrow's re-scheduled Champions Cup tie in Paris against Racing 92, with injury and the prospect of a gruelling three-week European run sharpening his thinking.

Andrew Conway comes in on the right wing for the injured Darren Sweetnam while Ronan O’Mahony edges out Keith Earls on the other side, with Rory Scannell, also covering out-half as Ian Keatley is omitted entirely, partners Jaco Taute, preferred to Francis Sailli in midfield.

There are key changes in the pack, too, from the side that featured in the opening three weeks, with Dave Kilcoyne supplanting James Cronin at loosehead and, although Tommy O’Donnell wins his fitness race to feature in an unchanged back-row, South African Jean Kleyn is missing, Dave Foley coming in to the bench.

Racing 92, last season’s finalists but already eliminated from this year’s competition after losing all three games, have predictably weakened their line-up but it remains an ultra-competitive string nonetheless, with World Cup winning out-half Dan Carter primed on the bench.

Racing 92 - J Imhoff; J Rokocoko, C Laulala, A Tuitavke, t Thomas; B Dambielle, X Chauveau; K Vartanov, C Chat, L Ducalcon, G Grobler, F van dere Merwe, C Masoe capt, M Voisin, A Claassen.

Reps - V Lacombe, J Brugnaut, C Gomes Sa, A Williams, S Fa’aso’o, J Hart, D Carter, H Chavancy.

Munster - S Zebo; A Conway, J Taute, R Scannell, R O'Mahony; T Bleyendaal, C Murray; J Cronin, N Scannell, J Ryan; D Ryan, B Holland; P O'Mahony capt, T O'Donnell, CJ Stander.

Reps - R Marshall, D Kilcoyne, S Archer, D Foley, J O'Donoghue, D Williams, K Earls, F Saili.

Referee - Matthew Carley (RFU).i.

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