Jump to main content


O’Sullivan Fills Openside Berth For Munster

O’Sullivan Fills Openside Berth For Munster

Cork youngster Jack O'Sullivan is pictured training with the Munster squad last month ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

There are four changes to the Munster team to play Glasgow Warriors in Monday night’s Guinness PRO14 fixture at Scotstoun Stadium (kick-off 8.15pm).

Captain Billy Holland rejoins Jean Kleyn in the second row, while there are also starts for Jack O’Sullivan, Calvin Nash and Ben Healy, who has kicked 47 points so far this season.

O’Sullivan, a recent Academy graduate, will make his fourth start at senior level – and first at openside flanker. His previous PRO14 starts have all come as a number 8.

Fineen Wycherley switches from lock to the blindside role with Gavin Coombes, last week’s player-of-the-match against the Ospreys, packing down again at the base of the scrum.

The province will field an unchanged front row of James Cronin, Kevin O’Byrne and Stephen Archer, with the burgeoning centre pairing of Rory Scannell and Damian de Allende also retained.

Healy and Craig Casey are reunited at half-back, following two successful starts together recently against Edinburgh and Cardiff Blues at Thomond Park.

Limerick native Nash slots back in on the right wing and is hoping to add to his try against the Dragons at the start of the month. Mike Haley and Matt Gallagher complete the back-three.

JJ Hanrahan, who suffered a thigh contusion during the Ospreys game, is on the bench and could make his 100th PRO14 appearance. Hooker Rhys Marshall is also eager for game-time after a recent thigh injury.

Unbeaten Munster make the trip to Scotstoun full of confidence having won their opening five matches, which represents their best start to a campaign since 2008.

Asked about the influence of the out-halves across this successful spell, Munster senior coach Stephen Larkham said: “I’m very happy with the way they’re controlling the game. They (Healy and Hanrahan) both have got a really good skillset.

“The young guys, Jack (Crowley) and Jake (Flannery), haven’t really had an opportunity yet. We are definitely moving towards a system where they can take full control of the team once you’re on the field.

“I think Ben and JJ are doing a really good job of that. It’s only a matter of time before we get some game-time into these other young guys.

“I think Ben’s transformation of the last six months, and he is still young and his body is still growing, his understanding of the way we want to play has gone through the roof.

“Very happy with what he’s putting out there and JJ, he probably had his best run ever in Munster colours in terms of the number of games started in a row, adding continuity to his game.

“He too has a real good understanding of the way we want to play at the moment so those two are really cementing in that position and doing a really good job.”

MUNSTER (v Glasgow Warriors): Mike Haley; Calvin Nash, Rory Scannell, Damian de Allende, Matt Gallagher; Ben Healy, Craig Casey; James Cronin, Kevin O’Byrne, Stephen Archer, Jean Kleyn, Billy Holland (capt), Fineen Wycherley, Jack O’Sullivan, Gavin Coombes.

Replacements: Rhys Marshall, Josh Wycherley, Keynan Knox, Jack O’Donoghue, Tommy O’Donnell, Nick McCarthy, JJ Hanrahan, Dan Goggin.