Director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has named his team for Munster’s GUINNESS PRO12 round 3 encounter with the Newport Gwent Dragons at Rodney Parade on Saturday (kick-off 5.15pm).
There are six personnel changes to the side that lost to Cardiff Blues last week, including the reintroduction of Ireland internationals Conor Murray and Keith Earls to the back-line, while two more Test-capped players, Donnacha Ryan and CJ Stander, also make their first starts of the season up front.
The selected team includes a number of new combinations with Jean Kleyn and Ryan packing down in the second row, Murray and Tyler Bleyendaal at half-back, and Dan Goggin and Earls in the centre – all starting alongside each other for the first time.
It is a case of as you were in the front row with James Cronin, hooker Niall Scannell and John Ryan starting together for the third successive round. Last week’s back-three of Ronan O’Mahony, Darren Sweetnam and full-back Andrew Conway remain in place as well.
Captain Billy Holland makes the positional switch to blindside flanker for the trip to Newport, with Jack O’Donoghue moving to the openside as Stander completes the starting pack at number 8.
Colm O’Shea has been named among the replacements and is in line to make his first appearance for the province if sprung from the bench.
A number of players will also take part in Ulster Bank League action this weekend, including Robin Copeland, John Madigan, Darren O’Shea, Alex Wootton, David Johnston, John Andress and Peter McCabe.
MUNSTER (v Newport Gwent Dragons): Andrew Conway; Darren Sweetnam, Keith Earls, Dan Goggin, Ronan O’Mahony; Tyler Bleyendaal, Conor Murray; James Cronin, Niall Scannell, John Ryan, Jean Kleyn, Donnacha Ryan, Billy Holland (capt), Jack O’Donoghue, CJ Stander.
Replacements: Duncan Casey, Dave Kilcoyne, Brian Scott, Dave O’Callaghan, Conor Oliver, Duncan Williams, Ian Keatley, Colm O’Shea.