Munster director of rugby Rassie Erasmus welcomes back five Ireland internationals – Donnacha Ryan, CJ Stander, Conor Murray, Keith Earls and Simon Zebo – for Saturday’s much-anticipated Champions Cup quarter-final against Toulouse at Thomond Park (kick-off 5.45pm).
All five players last lined out for the province in the Champions Cup round 6 win over Racing 92 at Thomond Park towards the end of January.
In an unchanged front row for the sold-out clash, hooker Niall Scannell will make his 50th senior appearance for Munster as he scrums down next to fellow Ireland internationals Dave Kilcoyne and John Ryan.
Donnacha Ryan joins Billy Holland in the second row as CJ Stander packs down at number 8 with captain Peter O’Mahony and Tommy O’Donnell again on the flanks.
Conor Murray, who has been nursing a shoulder injury, is named alongside Tyler Bleyendaal at half back, while winger Keith Earls, who scored three tries during Ireland’s Six Nations campaign, and full-back Simon Zebo complete the changes to the back-line.
A further boost for the men in red sees Francis Saili make an earlier-than-expected return from a knee ligament injury to be named in the replacements. Dave O’Callaghan also features in his first European squad of the season.
MUNSTER (v Toulouse): Simon Zebo; Darren Sweetnam, Jaco Taute, Rory Scannell, Keith Earls; Tyler Bleyendaal, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, John Ryan, Donnacha Ryan, Billy Holland, Peter O’Mahony (capt), Tommy O’Donnell, CJ Stander.
Replacements: Rhys Marshall, James Cronin, Stephen Archer, Dave O’Callaghan, Jack O’Donoghue, Duncan Williams, Francis Saili, Andrew Conway.