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Props Wycherley And Knox Handed Starting Roles For Munster

Props Wycherley And Knox Handed Starting Roles For Munster

Cork youngster Josh Wycherley is pictured during his first senior appearance for Munster against Cardiff Blues last Monday ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Munster head coach Johann van Graan has made seven changes for Sunday’s Guinness PRO14 date with the Dragons at Rodney Parade (kick-off 2pm).

Fresh from making his PRO14 debut against Cardiff Blues, Academy prop Josh Wycherley comes in for his first start in this fourth round fixture.

For his first appearance of the campaign, 21-year-old tighthead Keynan Knox will scrum down alongside fellow youngster Wycherley and in-form hooker Kevin O’Byrne.

Jean Kleyn joins captain Billy Holland in the engine room, while in the back row Chris Cloete takes his place at openside with Jack O’Donoghue and Gavin Coombes, two of last Monday’s try scorers, retaining their places.

Wily scrum half Craig Casey, who starts his fourth successive game, is paired with JJ Hanrahan at half-back for this weekend’s trip to Newport.

Rory Scannell makes the positional switch to outside centre, freeing up the number 12 jersey for Springbok Damian de Allende, who impressed off the bench against the Blues.

The final change to the back-three sees former Saracen Matt Gallagher start at full-back for the first time, with Calvin Nash and Darren Sweetnam continuing on the wings.

In the replacements, Academy duo Thomas Ahern and Jake Flannery are both included. 20-year-old lock Ahern is in line to make his senior debut for the province.

MUNSTER (v Dragons): Matt Gallagher; Calvin Nash, Rory Scannell, Damian de Allende, Darren Sweetnam; JJ Hanrahan, Craig Casey; Josh Wycherley, Kevin O’Byrne, Keynan Knox, Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland (capt), Jack O’Donoghue, Chris Cloete, Gavin Coombes.

Replacements: Diarmuid Barron, James Cronin, Stephen Archer, Thomas Ahern, Tommy O’Donnell, Nick McCarthy, Jake Flannery, Jack O’Sullivan.