Wednesday 21 August 2019

Starting XVs revealed for Munster-Leinster clash at Thomond and the home side look to have the edge

Rassie Erasmus and Leo Cullen appear to be approaching the game very differently
Rassie Erasmus and Leo Cullen appear to be approaching the game very differently Newsdesk Newsdesk

Munster have named a very strong side for their inter-provincial derby with Leinster at Thomond Park on St Stephen's Day (kick-off 5.30pm).

Rassie Erasmus has made three changes from the side that missed out on victory against Leicester at Welford Road last weekend.

Ronan O'Mahony comes in for Keith Earls in the only change to the back division, while wo changes in the pack see James Cronin join last week's try scorer Niall Scannell and John Ryan in the front row, while Jean Kleyn will partner Donnacha Ryan in the second row.

It's as you were with the international backrow of Captain Peter O'Mahony, Tommy O'Donnell and CJ Stander and there is no change to the halfback pairing of Conor Murray and Tyler Bleyendaal.

Francis Saili is also in line to make his first appearance of the season if sprung from the bench.

In contrast, Leo Cullen has rung the changes with 10 personnel switches from the facile victory over Northampton at the Aviva.

Cullen retains four of the backs that faced Northampton Saints in the Champions Cup last Saturday but captain Isa Nacewa swaps wings in the only positional change.

As a result UCD’s Barry Daly comes into the side on the left wing with Nacewa operating on the right. South African international Zane Kirchner will start at full back for his 76th Leinster cap.

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Robbie Henshaw continues in the centre but is partnered this week by Rory O’Loughlin. O’Loughlin, who wins his tenth cap for Leinster, scored a try in both home and away games against Northampton Saints.

Ross Byrne again starts in the number ten jersey but is joined from the start this week by Maori All Black Jamison Gibson-Park.

Cian Healy, James Tracy and Tadhg Furlong form an Irish international front row. Furlong is the only forward retained from last week’s starting XV.

Ross Molony and Mike McCarthy start in the second row, while in the back row Rhys Ruddock, Dan Leavy and Jack Conan complete the pack.

The long list of Leinster omissions include Sean O'Brien, Jamie Heaslip, Josh van der Flier, Garry Ringrose, Jack McGrath and Devin Toner.

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