Munster head coach Anthony Foley has made ten changes to the team that lost to Connacht as his charges prepare to face the Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade on Sunday (kick-off 2.30pm). Denis Hurley is named as captain and Niall and Rory Scannell will become the first brothers to start together for Munster in the GUINNESS PRO12.
Niall Scannell remains at hooker with Dave Kilcoyne and John Ryan returning to the front row, while Dave Foley resumes his partnership with Australian Mark Chisholm in the second row.
Two changes in the back row see blindside flanker Shane Buckley make his first start of the season with Dave O’Callaghan returning at openside and Robin Copeland retaining the number 8 jersey.
Tomas O’Leary continues at scrum half and the selection of Rory Scannell at number 10 for the first time in the current campaign completes an all-Dolphin half-back pairing.
Scannell is one of two Munster Academy players included for this weekend’s round 9 encounter with David Johnston starting alongside captain Denis Hurley for the second time this season.
Simon Zebo and Ronan O’Mahony return to the back-three on the left and right wing respectively with Argentina’s Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino switching to full-back. Having successfully rehabbed a quad strain, Kiwi Tyler Bleyendaal is named on the bench.
On the injury front, the province’s medical team reported positive results after Francis Saili’s scan for a calf strain this week. The All Black-capped centre is expected to return to training next week.
MUNSTER (v Newport Gwent Dragons): Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino; Ronan O’Mahony, David Johnston, Denis Hurley (capt), Simon Zebo; Rory Scannell, Tomas O’Leary; Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, John Ryan, Dave Foley, Mark Chisholm, Shane Buckley, Dave O’Callaghan, Robin Copeland.
Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, James Cronin, Mario Sagario, Billy Holland, Jordan Coghlan, Cathal Sheridan, Tyler Bleyendaal, Gerhard van den Heever