The Munster team to face Leinster in Saturday afternoon’s GUINNESS PRO14 semi-final at the RDS (kick-off 3.15pm) has been named by head coach Johann van Graan.
There is one change to the side that defeated Edinburgh in the semi-final qualifier at Thomond Park two weeks ago, as Ireland international John Ryan slots back in at tighthead prop. He replaces Stephen Archer who has sustained a pec muscle injury.
Hooker Rhys Marshall, a try scorer in the hard-fought 20-16 win over the Scots, is set to make his 50th appearance for Munster in Dublin, while the Paris-bound Simon Zebo starts at full-back with Andrew Conway and Keith Earls, the newly-crowned Zurich Irish Rugby Players’ Player of the Year, on the flanks.
Rory Scannell is partnered by Sam Arnold in the centre with the half-back pairing of JJ Hanrahan, who kicked the match-winning penalty in the Edinburgh game, and Conor Murray also unchanged.
Ryan, who has recovered from a back injury, joins James Cronin and Marshall in the front row, and Jean Kleyn and Billy Holland team up once again in the engine room. Captain Peter O’Mahony, Jack O’Donoghue and CJ Stander continue together in a settled back row trio.
Niall Scannell returns from an AC joint injury to take his place on the bench alongside fellow forwards Dave Kilcoyne, Ciaran Parker, Gerbrandt Grobler and Robin Copeland. Duncan Williams, Ian Keatley and Darren Sweetnam are the back-line replacements.
MUNSTER (v Leinster): Simon Zebo; Andrew Conway, Sam Arnold, Rory Scannell, Keith Earls; JJ Hanrahan, Conor Murray; James Cronin, Rhys Marshall, John Ryan, Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland, Peter O’Mahony (capt), Jack O’Donoghue, CJ Stander.
Replacements: Niall Scannell, Dave Kilcoyne, Ciaran Parker, Gerbrandt Grobler, Robin Copeland, Duncan Williams, Ian Keatley, Darren Sweetnam.