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Munster Team Revealed For First Racing Tie

Munster Team Revealed For First Racing Tie

Munster director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has made ten changes to the team that defeated Connacht as the GUINNESS PRO12 leaders play their rescheduled Champions Cup round 1 match against Racing 92 at Stade Yves-du-Manoir on Saturday (kick-off 4.45pm local time/3.45pm Irish time).

There are five changes in the pack where Niall Scannell and John Ryan both return to join James Cronin in the front row, while Donnacha Ryan comes into the second row to partner Billy Holland who makes the switch from blindside flanker. 

Tommy O’Donnell has overcome an ankle injury sustained at the Sportsground last weekend to continue at openside, with the returning duo of captain Peter O’Mahony and CJ Stander completing a strong back row unit.

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Conor Murray and Tyler Bleyendaal resume their half-back partnership, as do centres Rory Scannell and Jaco Taute, who has scored three tries so far in Europe this season.

Simon Zebo’s return at full-back sees Andrew Conway move to the right wing with Ronan O’Mahony, Munster’s top try scorer in the PRO12 to date with five scores, named on the opposite flank.

Included among the replacements, should he feature on Saturday afternoon, Keith Earls will make his 50th European appearance. Along with those ruled out through injury, South African pair Jean Kleyn and Thomas du Toit were unavailable for selection this week due to illness.

Munster also need just one try to reach 400 in Europe’s top flight and would become the third team to reach this milestone alongside Toulouse and Leicester Tigers.

Meanwhile, over 20,000 tickets have now been sold for the return encounter with Racing at Thomond Park on Saturday, January 21 (kick-off 5.30pm). Tickets can be purchased online here, from the Munster Rugby Ticket Offices at Thomond Park and Irish Independent Park or by calling 061 421103.

MUNSTER (v Racing 92): Simon Zebo; Andrew Conway, Jaco Taute, Rory Scannell, Ronan O’Mahony; Tyler Bleyendaal, Conor Murray; James Cronin, Niall Scannell, John Ryan, Donnacha Ryan, Billy Holland, Peter O’Mahony (capt), Tommy O’Donnell, CJ Stander.

Replacements: Rhys Marshall, Dave Kilcoyne, Stephen Archer, Dave Foley, Jack O’Donoghue, Duncan Williams, Keith Earls, Francis Saili.