Joey Carbery has been passed fit to start at out-half in Munster’s record 18th Heineken Champions Cup quarter-final against Edinburgh at BT Murrayfield on Saturday (kick-off 12.45pm), with Jack O’Donoghue also featuring in the back row.
Following a week off after Ireland’s Six Nations campaign, Peter O’Mahony returns to captain the province as one of 11 changes to the side that defeated Zebre 31-12 last weekend. Carbery, who have recovered from a hamstring injury, is brought into the back-line along with Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Keith Earls and Conor Murray.
The six changes in the pack see Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell and John Ryan pack down in the front row with second rows Jean Kleyn and Tadhg Beirne also returning along with O’Mahony. It is the same starting XV from January’s final pool win over Exeter Chiefs, apart from the injured Tommy O’Donnell making way for Jack O’Donoghue.
Mike Haley, the scorer of the fifth and final try against Zebre, starts at full-back with Conway and Earls on either flank. Rory Scannell, who impressed in the second half against the Italians, is joined by Farrell in the centre with Carbery, the Champions Cup’s top scorer from the pool stages (68 points), and Murray combining at half-back.
Waterford youngster O’Donoghue makes his first Champions Cup start of the season in the back row having made his full return from a serious knee injury last week. The ever-reliable CJ Stander, who produced a man-of-the-match performance against Zebre, completes the line-up at number 8.
Johann van Graan’s men travel to Edinburgh from Shannon Airport today and will be arriving at Murrayfield at around 11am on matchday. They are bidding to reach the Champions Cup semi-finals for a third successive year, and will certainly need to deliver one of their best performances of the season with Edinburgh having won 17 of their last 19 home games in Europe.
MUNSTER (v Edinburgh): Mike Haley; Andrew Conway, Chris Farrell, Rory Scannell, Keith Earls; Joey Carbery, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Niall Scannell, John Ryan, Jean Kleyn, Tadhg Beirne, Peter O’Mahony (capt), Jack O’Donoghue, CJ Stander.
Replacements: Rhys Marshall, Jeremy Loughman, Stephen Archer, Billy Holland, Arno Botha, Alby Mathewson, Tyler Bleyendaal, Dan Goggin.