A much-changed Munster side will take on the Southern Kings for the first time in the GUINNESS PRO14 on Saturday at Oteniqua Park in George (kick-off 7.35pm local time/6.35pm Irish time).
George native CJ Stander, who turned 28 yesterday, will captain the province and is one of five players to retain their place from last weekend’s dramatic Champions Cup quarter-final win over Toulon at Thomond Park.
In making ten changes, head coach Johann van Graan introduces an all-Ireland international front row with James Cronin, Niall Scannell and John Ryan starting together. Jean Kleyn continues in the second row and is joined by Gerbrandt Grobler for his second start of the campaign, while the back row sees Dave O’Callaghan and Conor Oliver on either side of Stander.
Dan Goggin links up with Rory Scannell in midfield, with full-back JJ Hanrahan and Academy winger Calvin Nash joining Alex Wootton in the back-three. James Hart partners Ian Keatley in the half-back pairing.
In managing player loads, and with Darren Sweetnam and Simon Zebo already ruled out, van Graan names six forwards on the bench, including loosehead prop Dave Kilcoyne who will make his 150th appearance for the province if called upon.
MUNSTER (v Southern Kings): JJ Hanrahan; Calvin Nash, Dan Goggin, Rory Scannell, Alex Wootton; Ian Keatley, James Hart; James Cronin, Niall Scannell, John Ryan, Jean Kleyn, Gerbrandt Grobler, Dave O’Callaghan, Conor Oliver, CJ Stander (capt).
Replacements: Rhys Marshall, David Kilcoyne, Brian Scott, Billy Holland, Jack O’Donoghue, Jack Stafford, Stephen Fitzgerald, Robin Copeland.