Munster Head Coach Anthony Foley makes no less than nine changes for tomorrow night’s Guinness PRO12 clash against Zebre at Thomond Park – KO 7pm. It’s all-Irish starting XV, with the starting players all being products of the Greencore Munster Rugby Academy.
Returning internationals Donnacha Ryan, Tommy O’Donnell, Keith Earls and Simon Zebo all start with Conor Murray and CJ Stander named amongst the replacements.
In an all-new front row, Dave Kilcoyne and Stephen Archer start on either side of Niall Scannell with Archer making his first start since returning from a long-term neck injury.
Donnacha Ryan comes into the second row and will make his 100th league appearance when partneringBilly Holland who again captains the side.
O’Donnell is the one personnel change in the back-row with Dave O’Callaghan and Jack O’Donoghuereverting to blindside and number 8 respectively.
Changes in the half-backs see Tomás O’Leary and Johnny Holland start alongside each other for the first time in what will be Holland’s first inclusion in the starting line-up since returning from a long-term hamstring injury.
A new starting partnership is also seen in the midfield with the returning Earls joining Rory Scannell while the return of Zebo at full-back is the final change with Ronan O’Mahony and Darren Sweetnam again completing the back-three.
Francis Saili sustained a knock to the shoulder in training this week, ruling him out of contention for tomorrow night’s game. The centre is expected to return to training next week.
Munster: Simon Zebo; Darren Sweetnam, Keith Earls, Rory Scannell, Ronan O’Mahony; Johnny Holland, Tomás O’Leary; Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, Stephen Archer; Donnacha Ryan, Billy Holland – capt., Dave O’Callaghan, Tommy O’Donnell, Jack O’Donoghue.
Replacements: Mike Sherry, James Cronin, Mario Sagario, Dave Foley, CJ Stander, Conor Murray, Ian Keatley, David Johnston