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O’Donnell, Cronin And O’Mahony Return To Munster Side

O’Donnell, Cronin And O’Mahony Return To Munster Side

Director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has made three changes to the Munster team for Saturday evening’s sold-out Champions Cup clash with Racing 92 at Thomond Park (kick-off 5.30pm).

Tommy O’Donnell, James Cronin and Ronan O’Mahony come into the starting line-up as Munster target the win that would guarantee them a home quarter-final.

Flanker O’Donnell returns from injury to start as Jack O’Donoghue moves to the bench and Cronin is given the nod at loosehead prop with Dave Kilcoyne reverting to the replacements.

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Winger O’Mahony, Munster’s top try scorer so far this season with six tries, takes the place of Keith Earls in the only change to the back-line. The Moyross man is not included after taking a knock to his ribs in training earlier this week.

It is as you were elsewhere with Niall Scannell and John Ryan continuing at hooker and tighthead prop respectively, while Donnacha Ryan is partnered by Jean Kleyn in the second row and captain Peter O’Mahony, O’Donnell and CJ Stander complete the pack.

Conor Murray and Tyler Bleyendaal are again the half-back pairing with no change to the centre partnership of Rory Scannell and Jaco Taute. Simon Zebo and Andrew Conway are also retained in the back-three.

Zebo will be hoping to continue his outstanding try-scoring record against Racing – Munster’s all-time leading try scorer has touched down five times in three games against the Paris club.

Saturday’s sold-out round 6 fixture will mark Munster’s 60th top flight European Cup game at Thomond Park, the first of which took place against Swansea in 1995, with the province losing just four of those 60 encounters at the Limerick venue.

Munster v Racing tickets are no longer available and will not be available at the ground on match day. With the addition of extra seating, 26,200 tickets have been sold for the eagerly-awaited match.

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, Jean Kleyn, Donnacha Ryan, Peter O’Mahony (capt), Tommy O’Donnell, CJ Stander.

Replacements: Rhys Marshall, Dave Kilcoyne, Thomas du Toit, Billy Holland, Jack O’Donoghue, Duncan Williams, Ian Keatley, Francis Saili.