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Zebo And Conway Come Through Training To Make Munster Team

Zebo And Conway Come Through Training To Make Munster Team

The Munster team has been announced for the province’s record 17th Champions Cup quarter-final against French heavyweights Toulon at Thomond Park on Saturday (kick-off 3.15pm).

There are six changes to the side that beat the Scarlets 19-7 in the GUINNESS PRO14 last Saturday. Simon Zebo and Andrew Conway are both back from injury having come through training this week, with Stephen Archer and Grand Slam winners Peter O’Mahony, Conor Murray and CJ Stander also returning in the red jersey.

Zebo starts at full-back with Conway and Alex Wootton, Munster’s top try scorer so far this season with nine tries, on the flanks. Rory Scannell, who has played every minute of Munster’s 2017/18 European campaign, continues his centre partnership with the impressive Sam Arnold.

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EPCR European Player of the Year nominee Murray starts at scrum half alongside Ian Keatley, who scored 61 points in the province’s six pool games, while Dave Kilcoyne, Rhys Marshall and Archer get the nod in the front row.

Head coach Johann van Graan pairs the ever-reliable Billy Holland and Jean Kleyn together in the engine room, with captain O’Mahony and Stander slot straight into the back row, the latter having played all 480 minutes of Munster’s Champions Cup run so far this season.

While Tommy O’Donnell’s shoulder injury robs Munster of an experienced back rower, fellow Ireland international Jack O’Donoghue will start after an excellent performance against the Scarlets. The Waterford man moves from blindside to openside flanker.

The all-international trio of Niall Scannell, James Cronin and John Ryan make up the front row cover. Having both faced Munster as Racing 92 players last season, James Hart and Gerbrandt Grobler are in line to make their European bows for the province as replacements. Robin Copeland, who was man-of-the-match against the Scarlets, JJ Hanrahan and Darren Sweetnam complete the bench options.

MUNSTER (v Toulon): Simon Zebo; Andrew Conway, Sam Arnold, Rory Scannell, Alex Wootton; Ian Keatley, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Rhys Marshall, Stephen Archer, Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland, Peter O’Mahony (capt), Jack O’Donoghue, CJ Stander.

Replacements: Niall Scannell, James Cronin, John Ryan, Gerbrandt Grobler, Robin Copeland, James Hart, JJ Hanrahan, Darren Sweetnam.