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Munster Make Eight Changes For Treviso Test

Munster Make Eight Changes For Treviso Test

Munster head coach Anthony Foley has named his 23-man squad to face Benetton Treviso and it sees two of Ireland’s summer tourists return to the fold, with Felix Jones to captain the province for the first time.

In total, the starting line-up includes eight personnel changes to the team that lost the league opener at home to Edinburgh last Friday night.

It was expected that Paul O’Connell would make his return to action in Treviso, however he was a late withdrawal due to personal reasons and did not travel with the squad.

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James Cronin returns to the front row for the first time after making his Ireland senior debut in Argentina, linking up with hooker Duncan Casey and tighthead prop Stephen Archer who are both promoted from the bench.

David Foley also steps up in the second row where he is partnered by Billy Holland who makes his second start in as many weeks.

CJ Stander retains his place at blindside flanker with Tommy O’Donnell making his first start of the season in the number 7 jersey.

Having made his first Munster appearance against London Irish in the pre-season clash and after missing out on selection last week due to bruised ribs, Robin Copeland is set to make his competitive debut for Munster at number 8.

Duncan Williams and Ian Keatley are retained at half-back, while Ivan Dineen makes his first start of the GUINNESS PRO12 campaign at inside centre with Andrew Smith moving to the outside channel.

Simon Zebo and Andrew Conway retain their places on the left and right wings respectively, with returning Ireland full-back Felix Jones captaining the side for the first time.

A PRO12 source has confirmed that the league is still trying to source a broadcaster for the game which will kick-off at a slightly earlier time of 7pm (Irish time). An update is due from the tournament organisers within the next 24 hours.

Should the game not be broadcast, supporters can as always follow all the action live on the province’s Twitter feed – @MunsterRugby.

MUNSTER (v Benetton Treviso): Felix Jones (capt); Andrew Conway, Andrew Smith, Ivan Dineen, Simon Zebo; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; James Cronin, Duncan Casey, Stephen Archer, David Foley, Billy Holland, CJ Stander, Tommy O’Donnell, Robin Copeland.

Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, John Ryan, BJ Botha, Donncha O’Callaghan, Sean Dougall, Cathal Sheridan, Johnny Holland, Ronan O’Mahony.