Tuesday 17 September 2019

Johann van Graan rings the changes for Munster while Baloucoune replaces Stockdale for Ulster

Munster head coach Johann van Graan. Photo: Sportsfile
Munster head coach Johann van Graan. Photo: Sportsfile

Ian Nagle will make his first start for Ulster when a Munster side, featuring 13 changes, visits Kingspan Stadium on Friday evening (kick-off 7.35pm).

Nagle of course, replaces Iain Henderson after the Irish lock's surgery on a thumb injury.

Also in Ulster's pack, Rob Herring comes in as captain to replace Rory Best, who is named among the replacements.

Academy winger Robert Baloucoune is the third addition to the line-up with Jacob Stockdale dropping out of the squad.

Eric O’Sullivan and Marty Moore will join Herring in the front row, while Kieran Treadwell will pack down beside Nagle in the second row. The loose forward combination of Sean Reidy, Jordi Murphy and Marcell Coetzee is unchanged.

Alongside Baloucoune in the back three are the experienced Louis Ludik and Henry Speight.

The half-back axis of John Cooney and Billy Burns is retained along with the midfield pairing of Stuart McCloskey and Will Addison.

Kyle McCall, Nick Timoney, Dave Shanahan and Johnny McPhillips all hold their places on the bench while Ross Kane, Clive Ross and James Hume replace O'Toole, Rea and Cave.

International Rugby Newsletter

Rugby insights and commentary from our renowned journalists like Neil Francis, Will Slattery, Alan Quinlan & Cian Tracey.

Meanwhile, Munster coach Johann van Graan has made 13 changes from the side that lost in last weekend's bruising Champions Cup clash against Castres.

Tommy O'Donnell returns from the injury he sustained in October to take his place on the bench while Jaco Taute takes the captain's armband for the first time.

Mike Haley is named at full-back once again with Darren Sweetnam returning from an injury sustained on international duty to start on the right wing with Alex Wootton on the opposite flank.

Sammy Arnold keeps his place at outside centre and partners Taute in midfield with Alby Mathewson and JJ Hanrahan in the half-backs.

Jeremy Loughman, Kevin O'Byrne and Stephen Archer pack down in the front row as Jean Kleyn returns from injury to partner Darren O'Shea in the engine room.

Conor Oliver makes his first start of the campaign having missed the opening months of the season through injury and is joined in the back row by Fineen Wycherley and Arno Botha.

Fit-again Tommy O'Donnell is among the replacements along with Academy duo Gavin Coombes and Shane Daly.

Munster: Mike Haley; Darren Sweetnam, Sammy Arnold, Jaco Taute (C), Alex Wootton; JJ Hanrahan, Alby Mathewson; Jeremy Loughman, Kevin O’Byrne, Stephen Archer; Jean Kleyn, Darren O’Shea; Fineen Wycherley, Conor Oliver, Arno Botha.

Replacements: Mike Sherry, Dave Kilcoyne, Ciaran Parker, Gavin Coombes, Tommy O’Donnell, Neil Cronin, Bill Johnston, Shane Daly.

Ulster: (15-9): L Ludik; H Speight, W Addison, S McCloskey, R Baloucoune; B Burns, J Cooney; (1-8): E O’Sullivan, R Herring (captain), M Moore, I Nagle, K Treadwell, S Reidy, J Murphy, M Coetzee;

Replacements: R Best, K McCall, R Kane, C Ross, N Timoney, D Shanahan, J McPhillips, J Hume.

Online Editors

The Throw-In: 'Jim Gavin has achieved what Mick O'Dwyer and Brian Cody couldn't do'

In association with Bord Gáis Energy

Also in Sport