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O’Donoghue To Make European Debut For Munster

O’Donoghue To Make European Debut For Munster

Munster head coach Anthony Foley has made five changes to his team for their European Champions Cup opening round clash with Benetton Treviso at Thomond Park (kick-off 5.15pm).

CJ Stander will lead Munster for the first time at European level in Saturday’s game, while Mike Sherry and BJ Botha return to join Dave Kilcoyne in the front row. Sherry makes a welcome return to European action for the first time in over two years.

Mark Chisholm comes in to start alongside Donnacha Ryan in the second row for the first time. In doing so, the Australian will make his first Champions Cup appearance having previously lined out for Bayonne in the Challenge Cup.

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Jack O’Donoghue, Munster’s reigning Academy Player of the Year, will win his first European cap from the start when he lines out at openside flanker in a youthful back row that also sees Dave O’Callaghan and Stander retained.

Conor Murray and Ian Keatley continue at half-back with Simon Zebo and Keith Earls – who completed his return-to-play protocols – reverting to the wings for this weekend’s Pool 4 encounter.

Denis Hurley comes in to join Champions Cup debutant Francis Saili in the centre, while the final change sees Andrew Conway (pictured below) return at full-back.

Following his arrival last week, Argentinian international Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino could make his first appearance for the province after being named among the replacements. In addition, Academy play-maker and Dolphin clubman Rory Scannell will win his first European cap if sprung from the bench.

Over 17,000 tickets have now been sold for the Munster v Treviso game. Tickets can be purchased online here from just €;60 for families (2 adults & 2 kids), €;20 for adults and €;10 for juniors & students.

Match tickets are available from the Munster Rugby Ticket Offices at Thomond Park and Irish Independent Park, or you can call 0818 719 300.

Tickets for Saturday’s clash can also be purchased as part of build-your-own match packs where you can save 10% on Champions Cup and PRO12 tickets. Click here to start building yours.

In other news, Munster Rugby have confirmed that BJ Botha’s contract has been extended further, and the South African tighthead prop will remain with the province until June 2016

MUNSTER (v Benetton Treviso): Andrew Conway; Keith Earls, Francis Saili, Denis Hurley, Simon Zebo; Ian Keatley, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Mike Sherry, BJ Botha, Donnacha Ryan, Mark Chisholm, Dave O’Callaghan, Jack O’Donoghue, CJ Stander (capt).

Replacements: Duncan Casey, James Cronin, John Ryan, Dave Foley, Robin Copeland, Tomas O’Leary, Rory Scannell, Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino.