The Munster team to face Exeter Chiefs at Irish Independent Park in Friday’s Kearys Renault Series clash (kick-off 7.30pm) has been named by head coach Johann van Graan. There are six changes to the side that beat London Irish last week.
Billy Holland captains the side in his native Cork, with Mike Haley coming in to make his first start at full-back and fellow new signing Arno Botha listed among the replacements in a 31-man squad for the province’s second and final pre-season fixture.
Darren Sweetnam, a try scorer in the 32-28 victory over London Irish on the new 3G modified pitch, and Calvin Nash keep their places on the wings. Rory Scannell and Dan Goggin, who also touched down against Declan Kidney’s side, resume their centre partnership with the 21-year–old Bill Johnston coming in at out-half to join James Hart in the half-backs.
Mike Sherry is promoted to the starting hooker role after scoring two tries off the bench against Irish, and Dave Kilcoyne and Brian Scott, another try scorer last time out, complete the hosts’ front row.
Jean Kleyn and stand-in skipper Holland link up in the second row, supported by an unchanged back row trio of Dave O’Callaghan, Tommy O’Donnell and Academy talent Gavin Coombes. There are four more Academy players among the replacements – Sean O’Connor, Jack Daly, Shane Daly and Liam Coombes.
Kevin O’Byrne, Jeremy Loughman, Cronan Gleeson and Ciaran Parker provide the front row back-up and Fineen Wycherley, Darren O’Shea, Botha, Neil Cronin, JJ Hanrahan, Ian Keatley, Sam Arnold and Stephen Fitzgerald complete Munster’s matchday squad.
Buy Munster v Exeter Chiefs tickets online here, from the Munster Rugby Ticket Offices in Irish Independent Park and Thomond Park, or by calling 061 421103. Ticket prices: adult: €;15, junior €;5 *, family (two adults and two juniors): €;30. * Junior tickets can only be purchased with an adult ticket.
MUNSTER (v Exeter Chiefs): Mike Haley; Darren Sweetnam, Dan Goggin, Rory Scannell, Calvin Nash; Bill Johnston, James Hart; Dave Kilcoyne, Mike Sherry, Brian Scott, Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland (capt), Dave O’Callaghan, Tommy O’Donnell, Gavin Coombes.
Replacements (from): Kevin O’Byrne, Jeremy Loughman, Cronan Gleeson, Ciaran Parker, Fineen Wycherley, Darren O’Shea, Sean O’Connor, Jack Daly, Arno Botha, Neil Cronin, JJ Hanrahan, Ian Keatley, Shane Daly, Sam Arnold, Liam Coombes, Stephen Fitzgerald.