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Ireland Trio Return Up Front For Munster

Ireland Trio Return Up Front For Munster

After a three-week break, the GUINNESS PRO12 returns this weekend with Munster taking on Italian side Zebre in Parma on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 3pm local time/2pm Irish time).

In naming his matchday 23, the province’s director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has made fives changes to the Munster team that defeated Cardiff Blues in the Welsh capital in round 17.

Returning are the Ireland trio of Niall Scannell, John Ryan and captain Peter O’Mahony, as they all start in a pack that also sees the return of Jack O’Donoghue at number 8 after rehabbing the ankle injury he sustained against the Ospreys.

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In what will be his 70th senior appearance for Munster, Dave O’Callaghan makes his first start at lock in a notable positional switch, joining Billy Holland in the second row.

Tyler Bleyendaal is the only change to the back-line as the New Zealander resumes his half-back pairing with Duncan Williams, while there is additional international honours at full-back this week after Andrew Conway’s debut off the bench against England at the Aviva Stadium last Saturday.

Prop James Cronin is included among the replacements after successfully rehabbing a finger injury he sustained against Racing 92 at the end of January, while David Johnston is named in his first matchday squad of the season.

MUNSTER (v Zebre): Andrew Conway; Darren Sweetnam, Jaco Taute, Rory Scannell, Ronan O’Mahony; Tyler Bleyendaal, Duncan Williams; Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, John Ryan, Dave O’Callaghan, Billy Holland, Peter O’Mahony (capt), Tommy O’Donnell, Jack O’Donoghue.

Replacements: Rhys Marshall, James Cronin, Stephen Archer, Darren O’Shea, Conor Oliver, Angus Lloyd, David Johnston, Dan Goggin.