Jump to main content


Munster Announce First Pre-Season Team

Munster Announce First Pre-Season Team

Director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has revealed his first Munster matchday squad for the province’s pre-season clash with Zebre on Friday. Round 1 of the 2016 Kearys Renault Series sees Munster host the Italians at the Waterford RSC (kick-off 7pm).

In naming an extended squad of 29 players, Rassie Erasmus has included a mix of experience and emerging talent for what will be Munster’s first trip to the east of the province since August 2014, with Waterford’s own Jack O’Donoghue and Steven McMahon in line to feature this weekend.

An all-senior tight five sees John RyanNiall Scannell and Stephen Archer make up the front row with recent Academy graduate and injury returnee John Madigan (knee) starting alongside captain Billy Holland in the second row. Dave O’Callaghan and Academy flanker Conor Oliver join O’Donoghue in completing the pack.

Google Ad Manager – 300×250 – In Article

Duncan Williams and Ian Keatley form the first half-back partnership of the new season with Clontarf clubman and former Leinster centre Colm O’Shea partnering Cian Bohane in midfield. O’Shea has trained with the squad in pre-season having previously lined out for an Ireland XV against the Barbarians at Thomond Park in June 2015.

Ronan O’Mahony and Darren Sweetnam fill the wing berths with Academy speedster Stephen Fitzgerald completing the back-three. The Academy full-back’s younger brother, sub-Academy out-half Conor Fitzgerald, is also included in the matchday squad, making the Fitzgeralds the third set of brothers to win representation with the senior side in the past year, alongside the Scannells (Rory and Niall) and Johnstons (David and Bill).

There is a youthful look to the replacements with the named trio of Gavin CoombesCalvin Nash and Conor Fitzgerald only receiving their Leaving Cert results today. 

In total there are six Academy players selected with new recruits, back rower Coombes and centre/winger Nash, joining Brian ScottOllie Lyons and Dan Goggin in looking to make their first senior appearances for the province. 

In addition, it is a first squad inclusion for experienced tighthead John Andress and lock Darren O’Shea, while Cork Constitution scrum half John Poland is named in first senior representative side.

Tickets can be purchased at the ground on matchday, online here, or by calling 061 421103 – adults €;15, juniors €;7, family of two (1 adult and 1 junior) €;18, and family of four (2 adults and 2 juniors) €;30.

MUNSTER v Zebre): Stephen Fitzgerald; Darren Sweetnam, Cian Bohane, Colm O’Shea, Ronan O’Mahony; Ian Keatley, Duncan Williams; John Ryan, Niall Scannell, Stephen Archer, John Madigan, Billy Holland (capt), Dave O’Callaghan, Conor Oliver, Jack O’Donoghue.

Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, Peter McCabe, John Andress, Brian Scott, Darren O’Shea, Dave Foley, Ollie Lyons, Gavin Coombes, John Poland, Conor Fitzgerald, Dan Goggin, David Johnston, Calvin Nash, Steven McMahon.