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O’Mahony On The Bench For Much-Changed Munster

O’Mahony On The Bench For Much-Changed Munster

Munster director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has made a total of eight changes for Saturday evening’s GUINNESS PRO12 clash with Zebre at Thomond Park (kick-off 5pm).

Long-term injury returnee Peter O’Mahony is named in his first Munster matchday squad since May of last year, with Springbok international Jaco Taute, Tommy O’Donnell and Simon Zebo also included.

In ringing the changes for the round 5 fixture, the Munster management hand lock Darren O’Shea and winger Alex Wootton their first competitive starts.

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Following the successful rehabilitation of an ACL rupture sustained in Ireland’s historic Rugby World Cup win over France last October, O’Mahony will hope to see some game-time after being named among the replacements.

In terms of changes to the starting line-up, Zebo has overcome a rib injury while O’Donnell has now completed the return-to-play protocols for concussion and will start at full-back and openside flanker respectively.

Front rowers Duncan Casey and Stephen Archer make their first starts of the season with South African Taute to make his Munster debut from the start after being named at inside centre.

A late withdrawal from last weekend’s bonus point win over Edinburgh, Donnacha Ryan has recovered from illness to form a brand new second row partnership with O’Shea. In doing so, Ryan will win his 150th Munster cap and is the first member of the current squad to reach the milestone.

With Wootton named on the left wing, the final change to the side is a positional one where captain Billy Holland switches to the back row.

In contract news, Munster have confirmed that former Leinster Academy player Steve Crosbie has signed a three-month development contract and will join the province at the start of October. The 23-year-old out-half made two PRO12 appearances during his time in the Leinster Academy and represented the Ireland Under-20s during the 2013 U-20 RBS 6 Nations and World U-20 Championship.

Tickets (adults €;20, family €;40 (two adults & two juniors), students €;7 and juniors €;7) can be purchased online here, at the Munster Rugby Ticket Offices in Irish Independent Park and Thomond Park, or at the ground on matchday.

MUNSTER (v Zebre): Simon Zebo; Darren Sweetnam, Keith Earls, Jaco Taute, Alex Wootton; Tyler Bleyendaal, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Duncan Casey, Stephen Archer, Donnacha Ryan, Darren O’Shea, Billy Holland (capt), Tommy O’Donnell, CJ Stander.

Replacements: Niall Scannell, James Cronin, John Ryan, Peter O’Mahony, Conor Oliver, Duncan Williams, Ian Keatley, Cian Bohane.