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Bleyendaal Returns As Munster’s Only Change For Ospreys

Bleyendaal Returns As Munster’s Only Change For Ospreys

Munster director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has made just one change for Saturday’s GUINNESS PRO14 match against the Ospreys at Liberty Stadium (kick-off 3.15pm).

Like last weekend, that one change comes in the half-backs with Tyler Bleyendaal returning to captain the Conference A leaders in the number 10 jersey.

Should he appear off the bench, Ireland international John Ryan will make his 100th appearance for the province having made his debut against Cardiff Blues in September 2011. The former Muskerry, CBC and UCC prop becomes the tenth member of the current squad to reach the career milestone.

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Meanwhile, Ryan’s fellow prop James Cronin is also included among the replacements and could make his first appearance of the season having successfully rehabbed a knee injury.

With two rounds played, Munster and the Ospreys, who both play in Conference A, lie in first and fourth respectively, the former recording back-to-back bonus point wins over Benetton Rugby and the Toyota Cheetahs, and the Welshmen winning at Zebre before suffering a comprehensive 31-10 defeat away to Glasgow Warriors last time out.

Munster take big momentum into Saturday’s round 3 fixture and are in the midst of their best ever away record in the league, having won on each of their last eight away trips since losing to Leinster at the Aviva Stadium last October.

Rassie Erasmus commented: “The Ospreys, we played them three times last season and they have the same coaching staff this year, but they have so many different options and ways to vary it up, at 10 and 15 and their loose forwards for example.

“With their ability to add something new into the mix all the time it’s impossible for me to hit the nail on the head (on Monday) and tell you what we expect this weekend. It will be a tough assignment, that is for sure.

“It’s important that we carry the positives from the first two rounds into the next game, and apart from the obvious things that everybody sees, the players took some nice opportunities when they came their way.  By that I mean, you don’t always have to execute the game-plan 100%, when opportunities arrive, take them and trust your skill-set.

“As a coaching team, we would also like to see that mind-set flow into pressure games. It’s easy to take them when you are 20 or 30 points up, but doing it at critical junctures of pressure games is where you need to grow it to.

“Elsewhere, we could have been more accurate at the breakdown. We had a concentration lapse in defence just after half-time and that allowed the Cheetahs cross for a simple try. If we do that against a team like the Ospreys they can put us away.”

MUNSTER (v Ospreys): Andrew Conway; Darren Sweetnam, Chris Farrell, Jaco Taute, Alex Wootton; Tyler Bleyendaal (capt), Duncan Williams; Liam O’Connor, Rhys Marshall, Stephen Archer, Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland, Sean O’Connor, Tommy O’Donnell, Jack O’Donoghue.

Replacements: Niall Scannell, James Cronin, John Ryan, Fineen Wycherley, Robin Copeland, James Hart, Rory Scannell, Simon Zebo.