URC team news: Munster suffer Antoine Frisch scare ahead of Sharks clash as Duane Vermeulen captains Ulster
Centre Antoine Frisch has been left out of Munster's squad to face Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park tomorrow, but the province are confident he'll be able to train ahead of their daunting Heineken Champions Cup clash away to Sharks next weekend.
The French-born, Irish-qualified midfielder has been an ever-present for the Reds in their big games this season and there will be concern about his absence given the importance of this game in the context of Munster's hunt for a home United Rugby Championship quarter-final.
Peter O'Mahony and Conor Murray sit this one out after their Grand Slam exertions, but Jack Crowley is back to play at inside centre, while Ireland squad members Roman Salanoa, Gavin Coombes and Craig Casey are back on board.
RG Snyman is once again named on the bench as Munster ease him back after his lengthy absence with a knee injury, while Simon Zebo is also named as a replacement.
Munster can leap-frog the Scots into fourth with a win in their final home game of the regular season, before they close out their season with two games in South Africa.
Glasgow are less worried about Europe given they're in the Challenge Cup, so coach Franco Smith has recalled a number of Scotland internationals.
“We know the size of the test that Munster will provide in front of their home supporters tomorrow night," Smith said.
“Our focus, though, is solely on ourselves – the squad has trained well all week since returning from their break, and we are focused on putting out the best version of ourselves tomorrow night.
“Competition for selection has been hard-fought, and everyone in the playing group is putting their hand up and pushing to be involved each week.”
Meanwhile, Connacht have made five changes ahead of a crucial game against Edinburgh at the Sportsground on Saturday afternoon.
Oran McNulty and Diarmuid Kilgallen come in at fullback and on the wing, while return in the pack Peter Dooley, Oisín Dowling and Jarrad Butler.
Ulster take on the Bulls in Kingspan on Saturday night and former Bull Duane Vermeulen wiull captain the side.
Munster: Mike Haley; Calvin Nash, Malakai Fekitoa, Jack Crowley, Shane Daly; Joey Carbery, Paddy Patterson; Dave Kilcoyne, Diarmuid Barron, Roman Salanoa; Jean Kleyn, Fineen Wycherley; Jack O’Donoghue (C), John Hodnett, Gavin Coombes.
Replacements: Scott Buckley, Josh Wycherley, Stephen Archer, RG Snyman, Alex Kendellen, Craig Casey, Rory Scannell, Simon Zebo.
Glasgow Warriors: Ollie Smith; Cole Forbes, Stafford McDowall (capt), Sam Johnson, Jamie Dobie; Domingo Miotti, Ali Price; Nathan McBeth, Fraser Brown, Zander Fagerson; JP du Preez, Scott Cummings; Matt Fagerson, Rory Darge, Sione Vailanu.
Reps: Johnny Matthews, Allan Dell, Lucio Sordoni, Lewis Bean, Alex Samuel, Thomas Gordon, George Horne, Tom Jordan.
Connacht: Oran McNulty, Diarmuid Kilgallen, Tom Farrell, Cathal Forde, John Porch; David Hawkshaw, Caolin Blade (C); Peter Dooley, Dylan Tierney-Martin, Jack Aungier; Oisín Dowling, Niall Murray; Cian Prendergast, Conor Oliver, Jarrad Butler.
Replacements: Dave Heffernan, Jordan Duggan, Dominic Robertson-McCoy, Darragh Murray, Shamus Hurley-Langton, Kieran Marmion, Tom Daly, Shane Jennings.
Edinburgh: Emiliano Boffelli, Darcy Graham, Mark Bennett, James Lang, Damien Hoyland, Blair Kinghorn, Henry Pyrgos, Boan Venter, Stuart McInally, Lee-Roy Atalifo, Sam Skinner, Grant Gilchrist (C), Ben Muncaster, Connor Boyle, Viliame Mata.
Replacements: Dave Cherry, Luan de Bruin, WP Nel, Marshall Sykes, Glen Young, Ben Vellacott, Chris Dean, Nathan Sweeney.
Ulster: Mike Lowry, Rob Baloucoune, James Hume, Stewart Moore, Jacob Stockdale, Billy Burns, Nathan Doak; Andy Warwick, Tom Stewart, Jeff Toomaga-Allen, Kieran Treadwell, Sam Carter, David McCann, Nick Timoney, Duane Vermeulen (C).
Replacements: John Andrew, Eric O'Sullivan, Gareth Milasinovich, Alan O’Connor, Harry Sheridan, Marcus Rea, John Cooney, Jude Postlethwaite.
Vodacom Bulls: Kurt-Lee Arendse, Canan Moodie, Cornal Hendricks, Harold Vorster, David Kriel, Chris Smith, Zak Burger, Gerhard Steenekamp, Johann Grobbelaar, Mornay Smith, Ruan Vermaak, Ruan Nortje (C), Marco van Staden, Cyle Brink, Elrigh Louw
Replacements: Simphiwe Matanzima, Bismarck Du Plessis, Francois Klopper, Janko Swanepoel, WJ Steenkamp, Embrose Papier, Morne Steyn, Stedman Gans