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Stander Slots In At Number 8 For Munster’s Cardiff Trip

Stander Slots In At Number 8 For Munster’s Cardiff Trip

Munster head coach Johann van Graan has named his team to play Cardiff Blues in the GUINNESS PRO14 at Cardiff Arms Park on Friday night (kick-off 7.35pm).

There are six changes to the side that beat the Ospreys last weekend, as Ireland international CJ Stander makes his first appearance of the season in a strong back row that also includes captain Peter O’Mahony and Chris Cloete, the man-of-the-match last time out.

JJ Hanrahan comes into the starting back-line at full-back and there is an all-changed centre partnership with Jaco Taute, who was sprung from the bench against Glasgow Warriors and the Ospreys, making his first start since returning from a long-term knee injury, alongside Rory Scannell.

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Hooker Mike Sherry and second row Jean Kleyn are the only two alterations to the pack. Hanrahan joins Andrew Conway and Darren Sweetnam in the back-three as Joey Carbery, who tallied up 15 points in round 3, and Duncan Williams continue their half-back partnership.

James Cronin and Stephen Archer pack down in the front row with Sherry, and Kleyn joins Tadhg Beirne in the engine room. O’Mahony, Cloete and Stander make up the back row, but two notable absentees from the matchday squad are Keith Earls and Rhys Marshall who reported knocks during the week.

Three Greencore Munster Rugby Academy players are among the replacements. Hooker Diarmuid Barron, scrum half Jack Stafford and winger Shane Daly are all included with Barron, the 20-year-old Tipperary native, in line to make his senior debut.

MUNSTER (v Cardiff Blues): JJ Hanrahan; Andrew Conway, Jaco Taute, Rory Scannell, Darren Sweetnam; Joey Carbery, Duncan Williams; James Cronin, Mike Sherry, Stephen Archer, Jean Kleyn, Tadhg Beirne, Peter O’Mahony (capt), Chris Cloete, CJ Stander.

Replacements: Diarmuid Barron, Dave Kilcoyne, Brian Scott, Darren O’Shea, Tommy O’Donnell, Jack Stafford, Bill Johnston, Shane Daly.