Munster director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has named his team for Friday’s GUINNESS PRO12 clash with the Newport Gwent Dragons at Irish Independent Park (kick-off 7.35pm). Tyler Bleyendaal retains the captaincy, while local man Darren Sweetnam makes a welcome return to the starting line-up following a knee injury.
There are five changes to the side that defeated Edinburgh, with Dave Kilcoyne, Tommy O’Donnell, Rory Scannell and Andrew Conway all released from the Ireland Six Nations camp for the game in Cork.
Kilcoyne comes into the front row alongside Rhys Marshall and Stephen Archer, and second rows Jean Kleyn and Dave Foley again complete the tight five.
O’Donnell returns to the back row at openside flanker with Dave O’Callaghan and Jack O’Donoghue taking charge at blindside and number 8 respectively.
Duncan Williams and stand-in captain Tyler Bleyendaal continue together at half-back, and in a fully changed midfield, Jaco Taute reverts from full-back to resume his centre partnership with Scannell.
Crossing for his sixth try of the current PRO12 campaign last weekend, Ronan O’Mahony remains on the left wing with the final two changes seeing Conway and Darren Sweetnam rejoin the back-three. Cork native Sweetnam makes his first appearance since injuring his knee in Munster’s derby win over Leinster on St Stephen’s Day.
Three Academy representatives – Brian Scott, Conor Oliver and Dan Goggin – are named on the bench alongside club player Abrie Griesel of Young Munster.
Start your weekend cheering on Munster plus supporters can avail of FREE PARKING in the Black Ash Park and Ride.
Tickets are priced at €;20 for adults, €;7 for juniors, €;7 for students and it is €;40 for family tickets (2 adults and 2 juniors). Tickets can be purchased online here, from the Munster Rugby Ticket Offices at Irish Independent Park and Thomond Park, or by calling 061 421103.
MUNSTER (v Newport Gwent Dragons): Andrew Conway; Darren Sweetnam, Jaco Taute, Rory Scannell, Ronan O’Mahony; Tyler Bleyendaal (capt), Duncan Williams; Dave Kilcoyne, Rhys Marshall, Stephen Archer; Jean Kleyn, Dave Foley; Dave O’Callaghan, Tommy O’Donnell, Jack O’Donoghue.
Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, Peter McCabe, Brian Scott, Darren O’Shea, Conor Oliver, Abrie Griesel, Francis Saili, Dan Goggin.