Thursday 19 April 2018

Munster big guns return for Pro14 clash with Cardiff

Conor Murray in training this week
Conor Murray in training this week

Munster's Irish Lions return to the fold as Rassie Erasmus' men gear up for their Pro14 clash against Cardiff Blues at Thomond Park on Saturday (1.30).

Conor Murray, captain Peter O’Mahony and CJ Stander are among nine changes made by Erasmus.

O’Mahony and Stander are among six changes to the pack with the international front row trio of Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell and John Ryan all making their first starts of the season.

Robin Copeland is another to make his first start of 2017/18, doing so alongside Billy Holland in the second row.  Tommy O’Donnell remains in situ at openside with O’Mahony and Stander returning at 6 and 8 respectively.

Murray and Ian Keatley come in at half-back as does Jaco Taute in midfield. Partnering Rory Scannell, the South African takes charge of the outside channel for the first time this season.

No change in the back-three combination – Alex Wootton, Darren Sweetnam and Andrew Conway have to date started every game of the campaign.

Munster: Andrew Conway; Darren Sweetnam, Jaco Taute, Rory Scannell, Alex Wootton; Ian Keatley, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, John Ryan; Robin Copeland, Billy Holland; Peter O’Mahony – capt., Tommy O’Donnell, CJ Stander.

Replacements: Rhys Marshall, Liam O’Connor, Stephen Archer, Mark Flanagan, Sean McCarthy, Duncan Williams, JJ Hanrahan, Chris Farrell.

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