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Nash Misses Out As Munster Make Four Changes For Glasgow Game

Nash Misses Out As Munster Make Four Changes For Glasgow Game

Calvin Nash's leg injury means Simon Zebo shifts over to the left wing for Munster's BKT United Rugby Championship semi-final against Glasgow Warriors ©INPHO/James Crombie

With Calvin Nash ruled out with a leg knock, Mike Haley has been added to the Munster back-three for Saturday’s BKT United Rugby Championship semi-final against Glasgow Warriors at Thomond Park (kick-off 6pm).

Having ended the Ospreys’ challenge last week, Munster are hoping to add to their impressive record of winning all four of their previous league semi-finals held in Limerick. Over 18,500 tickets have been sold, with the remaining ones available here.

Head coach Graham Rowntree has made four personnel changes and one positional switch from the 23-7 win over the Ospreys. Haley and Alex Nankivell return to the back-line, with Nash’s injury-enforced absence covered by Simon Zebo’s move to the left wing.

Fineen Wycherley and Jack O’Donoghue are brought in up front, with RG Snyman and Gavin Coombes held in reserve on this occasion as part of a six-two split on the replacements bench.

Alex Nankivell, Jack Crowley, and captain Tadhg Beirne were selected as part of this season’s URC Elite XV, and the Kiwi centre returns from an ankle injury to start in midfield alongside Antoine Frisch.

Featuring on the right wing, URC Ironman award winner Shane Daly makes his 20th successive league start of the current campaign. Crowley, the Next-Gen Player of the Season, combines at half-back with Craig Casey for the fifth game in a row.

Bantry native Wycherley slots into the tight five for only his sixth start of the season, packing down with Beirne and supporting Jeremy Loughman, Niall Scannell, and Stephen Archer in an unchanged front row unit.

Ireland skipper Peter O’Mahony, John Hodnett, and O’Donoghue make up the back row trio. After O’Mahony was forced off with an early elbow injury when Glasgow hosted Munster in their 2023 quarter-final, Hodnett replaced him and helped the province to claim an eventual 14-5 victory.

Fit-again hooker Diarmuid Barron is set for more involvement tomorrow evening after successfully returning from a foot injury last week. Joining him on the bench will be fellow forwards John Ryan, Oli Jager, Snyman, Coombes, and Alex Kendellen.

Conor Murray and Seán O’Brien are the back-line replacements, as the defending URC champions and table toppers, who lost 38-26 when they last played Glasgow at Thomond Park in March 2023, chase their seventh triumph in 13 league semi-final appearances.

“The Cork game back in December (a 40-29 defeat of Glasgow), a weird game,” admitted Rowntree, while previewing the sides’ latest encounter which gives Glasgow a shot at just their fourth win in 10 URC semi-finals.

“Bright start, we got a good lesson (from Glasgow) in terms of our maul defence, changed a few things following that game because they were exceptional that night. Changed a few things since then and if you look at last weekend, against the Stormers, a 13-10 game at 70 minutes, Glasgow win a big scrum penalty, put it in the corner and eventually they score.

“So, their maul, their try-scoring off maul is incredible this year. We’re wary of that. Had a good lesson around that in December and I’d like to think we’ll be better for that this Saturday.

“You’ve got to have a good set-piece in this competition, otherwise you’re just defending mauls. But this team, Glasgow, will test you. We’ll be tested everywhere. Set-piece, their attack, they don’t kick the ball much.

“The depth on the edge of the field there is impressive. They’ve got a good defensive breakdown. I think what Franco Smith’s done there has been very impressive.”

MUNSTER (v Glasgow Warriors): Mike Haley; Shane Daly, Antoine Frisch, Alex Nankivell, Simon Zebo; Jack Crowley, Craig Casey; Jeremy Loughman, Niall Scannell, Stephen Archer, Fineen Wycherley, Tadhg Beirne (capt), Peter O’Mahony, John Hodnett, Jack O’Donoghue.

Replacements: Diarmuid Barron, John Ryan, Oli Jager, RG Snyman, Gavin Coombes, Conor Murray, Seán O’Brien, Alex Kendellen.