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O’Mahony Returns To Captain Munster In Belfast

O’Mahony Returns To Captain Munster In Belfast

Munster captain Peter O'Mahony is pictured on the attack against Racing 92 during the earlier rounds of this season's Heineken Champions Cup ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

The Munster team to play Ulster in Friday night’s sold-out GUINNESS PRO14 derby match at Kingspan Stadium (kick-off 7.35pm) shows ten changes in personnel.

Shane Daly, Sam Arnold, Rory Scannell, Fineen Wycherley and Jack O’Donoghue keep their starting places, while Peter O’Mahony returns to captain the side with Joey Carbery making his first start of the season at out-half.

Backing up from last week’s home defeat to Leinster, Daly switches to the full-back role in a back-three bolstered by Andrew Conway and Keith Earls. Arnold and Scannell continue together in midfield with Carbery and Conor Murray reunited at half-back.

There is a freshened up front row of Jeremy Loughman, Niall Scannell and Academy youngster Keynan Knox, who comes in for his second PRO14 start, and Corkmen Wycherley and Darren O’Shea link up as the lock pairing.

O’Donoghue is joined by O’Mahony and Arno Botha, who returns from suspension, in the back row, while Academy pair Diarmuid Barron and Jack O’Sullivan are retained on the bench. John Ryan has recovered from a calf injury and Gavin Coombes is also included.

Munster forwards coach Graham Rowntree commented: “I had a horrible experience there (at Ravenhill) in the European Cup, I would say 15 years ago, with my old club Leicester in the back-to-back European games.

“We played into the wind in the first half. We were 33-0 down at half-time, and the wind changed for the second half, which was nice. But it is another one of these historic grounds isn’t it, Ravenhill? It has been developed.

“For me as a player, I often convey this to our boys, nights like that away from home are why you play the game. Those experiences, that is what you pass onto your kids when you are telling stories. We are ready for it. We have prepped well so far.

“We have reviewed well since last Saturday night’s disappointment (against Leinster in Limerick) because you have got to roll on and move onto the next game. So we will see.”

MUNSTER (v Ulster): Shane Daly; Andrew Conway, Sam Arnold, Rory Scannell, Keith Earls; Joey Carbery, Conor Murray; Jeremy Loughman, Niall Scannell, Keynan Knox, Fineen Wycherley, Darren O’Shea, Peter O’Mahony (capt), Jack O’Donoghue, Arno Botha.

Replacements: Diarmuid Barron, Dave Kilcoyne, John Ryan, Gavin Coombes, Jack O’Sullivan, Neil Cronin, Dan Goggin, Chris Cloete.