Head Coach Anthony Foley makes five changes to the starting XV that defeated Edinburgh last weekend in naming his side to face Treviso in Round 1 of the Champions Cup at Thomond Park tomorrow – KO 5.15pm. CJ Stander will also lead Munster for the first time at European level.
Mike Sherry and BJ Botha return to join Dave Kilcoyne in the front row with Sherry making a welcome return to European action for the first time in over two years.
Mark Chisholm comes in to start alongside Donnacha Ryan in the second row for the first time and in doing so will make his first Champions Cup appearance having previously represented Bayonne in the Challenge Cup.
Last season’s Academy Player of the Year Jack O’Donoghue will win his first European cap from the start when he lines out at 7 in a youthful back-row that also sees Dave O’Callaghan and captain CJ Standerremain in situ.
Conor Murray and Ian Keatley continue in the half-backs with Simon Zebo and Keith Earls – who completed his return to play protocols – reverting to the wings for this weekend’s encounter.
Denis Hurley comes in to join Champions Cup debutant Francis Saili in the midfield while the final change sees Andrew Conway return at full-back.
Following his arrival last week Argentinean international Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino could make his first appearance for the province after being named amongst the replacements, while academy playmaker and Dolphin RFC clubman Rory Scannell will win his first European cap if sprung from the bench.
In other news Munster Rugby are pleased to confirm that BJ Botha‘s contract has been extended further, and the South-African tighthead prop will remain with the province until June 2016
Munster: Andrew Conway; Keith Earls, Francis Saili, Denis Hurley, Simon Zebo; Ian Keatley, Conor Murray; Dave Kilcoyne, Mike Sherry, BJ Botha; Donnacha Ryan, Mark Chisholm; Dave O’Callaghan, Jack O’Donoghue, CJ Stander – capt.
Replacements: Duncan Casey, James Cronin, John Ryan, Dave Foley, Robin Copeland, Tomás O’Leary, Rory Scannell, Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino.
Munster v Benetton Treviso, European Champions Cup Pool 4, Saturday November 14th at Thomond Park – KO 5.15pm.