Conor Murray, Donnacha Ryan, Francis Saili and Mike Sherry have all come through this week’s preparations in time to be included in Munster’s squad to take on Leicester Tigers at Thomond Park on Saturday (kick-off 7.45pm).
Munster head coach Anthony Foley has made nine changes to the team that started against the Newport Gwent Dragons last Sunday. James Cronin and BJ Botha return in the front row, packing down either side of young hooker Niall Scannell will is set for his first European appearance.
The returning Donnacha Ryan joins Dave Foley in the second row, while Robin Copeland and CJ Stander are named alongside Dave O’Callaghan in the back row.
Selected at blindside flanker, this will be Copeland’s first Champions Cup start for the province, while Stander returns to captain the side from number 8.
A changed half-back pairing sees Conor Murray and Ian Keatley renew their partnership after Murray successfully rehabbed a bruised bone in his foot which he sustained during the round 1 win over Benetton Treviso.
The other changes to the back-line see Francis Saili (pictured below), Keith Earls and Andrew Conway all back in the line-up. Saili starts with Denis Hurley in midfield, while Simon Zebo is joined by Earls and Conway in the back-three.
Mike Sherry is included among the replacements after rehabbing the knee injury he suffered against Treviso, while Tyler Bleyendaal is in line to make his European debut if sprung from the bench.
Meanwhile, Thomond Park will welcome its one millionth European Cup supporter through the turnstiles at Saturday’s game, 20 years after hosting Munster’s first European fixture against Swansea in November 1995.
In marking the occasion, the Munster Rugby Ticket Office and Thomond Park will be identifying the one millionth supporter through the turnstiles on Saturday night and the lucky fan will win a pair of tickets to all of Munster’s home games for the next five seasons. The selected prize winner will also receive upgraded tickets for the Munster-Leicester clash and will receive their prize on the pitch at half-time.
Tickets are available to buy from the ticket offices in Thomond Park and Irish Independent Park, online here or by calling 0818 719300. Ticket prices start from €;20 for adults, €;60 for families or €;10 for students. Full match day and ticket information can be found here.
MUNSTER (v Leicester Tigers): Andrew Conway; Keith Earls, Francis Saili, Denis Hurley, Simon Zebo; Ian Keatley, Conor Murray; James Cronin, Niall Scannell, BJ Botha, Dave Foley, Donnacha Ryan, Robin Copeland, Dave O’Callaghan, CJ Stander (capt).
Replacements: Mike Sherry, Dave Kilcoyne, John Ryan, Mark Chisholm, Jack O’Donoghue, Tomas O’Leary, Tyler Bleyendaal, Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino.