Munster head coach Anthony Foley has made five changes to the team that defeated Zebre for Saturday evening’s GUINNESS PRO12 round 19 encounter with Leinster at the Aviva Stadium (kick-off 5.30pm).
CJ Stander resumes the role of captain for the first time since returning from international duty. The return of James Cronin and Stander are the only two changes to the Munster pack.
Cronin will start alongside Niall Scannell and Stephen Archer in the front row with recent Ireland debutant Stander coming in to join Dave O’Callaghan and Tommy O’Donnell in the back row. Donnacha Ryan and Billy Holland are retained in the second row.
The three changes across the back-line see Conor Murray, Francis Saili and Andrew Conway all return to the province’s starting line-up.
Murray partners Johnny Holland at half-back, with Saili overcoming a bang to the shoulder sustained in training last week to resume his centre partnership with Rory Scannell.
Consequently, Keith Earls makes a positional switch to the left wing and joins Conway and full-back Simon Zebo in the back-three. Zebo is drawing ever closer to the 100-cap milestone for the province and will make his 99th appearance this weekend.
MUNSTER (v Leinster): Simon Zebo; Andrew Conway, Francis Saili, Rory Scannell, Keith Earls; Johnny Holland, Conor Murray; James Cronin, Niall Scannell, Stephen Archer, Donnacha Ryan, Billy Holland, Dave O’Callaghan, Tommy O’Donnell, CJ Stander (capt).
Replacements: Mike Sherry, Dave Kilcoyne, John Ryan, Robin Copeland, Jack O’Donoghue, Tomas O’Leary, Ian Keatley, Darren Sweetnam.