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Munster’s International Contingent Return For Clermont Game

Munster’s International Contingent Return For Clermont Game

Munster head coach Anthony Foley has named his team to face Clermont Auvergne in round 3 of the European Champions Cup at a sold-out Thomond Park on Saturday (kick-off 5.30pm).

Munster’s international contingent return to the starting line-up with Dave Foley, Paul O’Connell, captain Peter O’Mahony, Conor Murray and Simon Zebo included for the first time since the Saracens encounter in round 2.

The sevens changes from last weekend’s squad also see Tommy O’Donnell and Felix Jones given starting berths this week.

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Anthony Foley keeps faith with the same front row of Dave Kilcoyne, hooker Duncan Casey and BJ Botha, and O’Connell and recent Ireland cap Foley complete the front five.

CJ Stander retains his place at number 8 and is joined by O’Mahony and O’Donnell in a combative back row unit.

The returning Murray (pictured below with scrum coach Jerry Flannery) and Ian Keatley renew their half-back pairing, while South African centre Pat Howard makes his first European appearance for the province, starting alongside Denis Hurley for just the second time.

With Zebo returning out wide, the in-form Gerhard van den Heever makes a switch to the opposite right wing as Jones completes the back-three.

Replacement hooker Kevin O’Byrne is named in his first European squad, while prop James Cronin is included after successfully rehabbing an ankle injury.

MUNSTER (v Clermont Auvergne): Felix Jones; Gerhard van den Heever, Pat Howard, Denis Hurley, Simon Zebo; Ian Keatley, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Duncan Casey, BJ Botha, Paul O’Connell, Dave Foley, Peter O’Mahony (capt), Tommy O’Donnell, CJ Stander.

Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, James Cronin, Stephen Archer, Billy Holland, Sean Dougall, Duncan Williams, JJ Hanrahan, Johne Murphy.