The Munster team has been announced for Saturday evening’s GUINNESS PRO14 encounter with the Scarlets at Parc y Scarlets (kick-off 5pm), which is a repeat of the 2017 Championship final.
Billy Holland captains the province again with seven changes to the side that defeated the Ospreys 19-13 last Friday night. Centre Rory Scannell returns to the starting XV for his 100th Munster appearance and will become the youngest ever player to hit the century mark having turned 25 in December.
It is all change at half-back where 22-year-old Tipperary youngster Bill Johnston and New Zealander Alby Mathewson team up, while the final addition to the back-line sees Ronan O’Mahony slot in on the right wing.
John Ryan returns from international duty to start at tighthead prop, Jean Kleyn, who was a late withdrawal from the team in Swansea, has recovered from illness to start in the second row and Conor Oliver joins Fineen Wycherley and Arno Botha in the back row.
The in-form Mike Haley, who scored the match-winning try against the Ospreys, continues at full-back with O’Mahony and Darren Sweetnam stationed out wide. For his 100th senior cap, Scannell is partnered by 24-year-old Limerick man Dan Goggin in the centre.
Johann van Graan’s men have won seven games in a row and lead GUINNESS PRO14 Conference A by a single point from Glasgow Warriors. The Scarlets have lost just one PRO14 game at their Llanelli fortress since September 2016.
Munster travel without ten players who are in Ireland camp in Belfast, building towards next week’s Guinness Six Nation game against France. They are Tadhg Beirne, who was the province’s man-of-the-match against the Ospreys, Joey Carbery, Andrew Conway, Keith Earls, Chris Farrell, Dave Kilcoyne, Conor Murray, Peter O’Mahony, Niall Scannell and CJ Stander.
MUNSTER (v Scarlets): Mike Haley; Ronan O’Mahony, Dan Goggin, Rory Scannell, Darren Sweetnam; Bill Johnston, Alby Mathewson; Jeremy Loughman, Rhys Marshall, John Ryan, Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland (capt), Fineen Wycherley, Conor Oliver, Arno Botha.
Replacements: Kevin O’Byrne, Liam O’Connor, Stephen Archer, Darren O’Shea, Jack O’Donoghue, Neil Cronin, Tyler Bleyendaal, Jaco Taute.